In August of 2018, John Crayton was caring as a nurse for a patient, unfortunately, facing an unexpected, lengthy hospital stay due to pancreatitis. The patient's stress was augmented by the harsh reality that his daughter's wedding was quickly approaching. In fact, the date was set, and with just days to spare, the patient remained hopeful that he would be discharged or allowed to temporarily leave the hospital in order to take part in his daughter's special day.
Just twenty-four short hours before the wedding, the patient was informed that he was unfortunately not well enough to be discharged. Furthermore, it was unsafe for him to leave the hospital at all. He and his daughter were devastated.
Holding tightly to her last glimmer of hope for her dad to be involved in the most important day of her life, his daughter approached John to express her immense sadness and discuss her wishes to be able to somehow incorporate her father into her wedding. She and John deliberated the possibility of her coming to the hospital prior to her wedding to surprise the patient. This would give him the opportunity to see his daughter in her wedding gown with his own eyes. Unbeknownst to her or her dad, John made the extra effort to reach out to management to elicit additional ideas and resources to make this surprise even more special to both of them.
John approached the Unit Manager on 8PCU, Brian Williams, in the afternoon that Friday to explain the situation. He explained that the patient's daughter was getting married the next day and the patient could not attend. The daughter wanted to come with the wedding party to the hospital to surprise her father and experience their father/daughter dance. John asked if they could use the unit's conference room. Brian replied, of course, but told him he would look for alternative options. Brian reached out to Jamie Baldwin and Beth Steinberg who made several suggestions, including the James Chapel. Brian thought this would be the best venue so he reached out to the Chaplaincy team to inquire.
Later that evening, the Pastoral Care Manager, Imani Jones, called Brian’s cell phone to notify him that the patient and family would be able to use the Chapel. She also messaged the next day’s on-call chaplains. Tucker Messamore, one of the chaplains, received the message and took it upon himself to move the furniture to create an appropriate space for the wedding party and patient. Jason Matlack, another chaplain, was able to return the furniture to the appropriate space after the “event” was over. A note from Jason stated, “Daughter, 4 bridesmaids, photographer, videographer, patient, and RN were in attendance. The patient was tearful and very grateful.”
The next morning, the big day, John told the patient that he would be going to a routine x-ray to check on the progress of his pancreatitis. Instead, John wheeled him to a large private room where his daughter, all ready for her big day, awaited. It was in that room that the pair enjoyed their father-daughter dance, took pictures, and cried tears of joy. That would have been enough for the patient and his daughter to have memories that would last them a lifetime, but thanks to the staff, the patient’s involvement in his daughter’s wedding did not end there. John, along with other OSUWMC staff, had gone above and beyond to coordinate care in such a way that allowed him to walk his daughter down the aisle and mingle with guests throughout the reception via FaceTime.
Because the patient required a Progressive Care Unit, he was subject to frequent lab draws, vital signs, and assessments. In order to afford the time to enjoy his evening with limited interruptions, John coordinated with multiple disciplines and other 8PCU staff that agreed to cluster his care. This granted him the privacy he required to enjoy his daughter’s big day. Although the patient was unable to physically attend his daughter’s wedding, the outstanding care from his care team enabled him to remain a significant part of her day. The patient and his daughter were exceptionally thankful to the staff for coordinating such an unforgettable experience.