Our nephew became a patient at ECMC. For the next 9 months, through all the ups and downs, Paula was his and our ray of hope. Knowing the long road ahead, the multiple surgeries, and so much potential rehab time, she was always encouraging to him and our family. So sympathetic to what he was going through, Paula never the less did not waiver in her goal of getting him well enough to go home. The nights she would tell us "I know this is uncomfortable, but it's what we need to do to help you." His long term goal was always the priority.
The night's when my wife and I would be a bit discouraged during our visit, that he seemed sad or depressed, it always seemed that it would be Paula's night on duty and he would literally light up when she came in the room. Just to make small talk or a bit of teasing, his eyes never left her. It was that type of bond that they had that made it OK on the nights that we weren't there. We knew Paula was his strongest advocate.
Our happiest memories of this most difficult time were the nights we actually were able to take him outside. The very labor intensive task of readying him for that trip was just another labor of love for Paula. If he was able, Paula was willing and I'm not sure which of the two were more excited.
In the end, our nephew lost his battle. How appropriate it was that Paula was on duty for his last two days with us. It was very comforting to us and abundantly clear how emotional it was for Paula.