A patient came to us from an outside hospital with a complex open abdomen that required debridement and ultimately a wound vac. The patient had chronic abdominal pain associated with the healing process. On Christmas Eve, I met with the patient to change his vac. In my haste to get back to the inpatient population, I missed the most important moment in that visit. A call for help!
Sherry Booher brought to my attention that the patient had been cutting his left wrist! I approached the patient who very uncomfortably told me alternative pain was needed to keep his mind off his abdomen pain. I told him this was dangerous and unhealthy behavior. He abruptly left the clinic. I called him multiple times but he would not answer the phone. I then called Crisis Management who intervened. The patient ultimately went to the Emergency Department the following week and was admitted for help with chronic depression and suicidal ideation.
This story is very sad but could have ended much differently. Sherry demonstrated courage by addressing this problem, when others would not have said anything to not cause conflict. She demonstrated the most important value a clinician can have – caring. She deserves a DAISY Award. Please take a moment to recognize her and her efforts. I am honored to call her friend and colleague.