A patient with heart failure was being evaluated for a VAD. He was older, having more symptoms, and had a complicated social history. The VAD team declined the procedure. Stan advocated for the patient from the moment of this admission until his passing. When the patient was told he wouldn’t qualify for the VAD, he had to face that he would die soon. He wanted to donate his body to science but wouldn’t be able to arrange it in the time he had left.
Stan spent so much time with him, as he coped with everything happening. I saw Stan at his bedside, talking to him for hours as they discussed life and death. The patient was a big fan of music, so Stan brought him a Kindle Fire so he could stream the music that made him so happy. When the patient was transferred to the floor, Stan went to visit him frequently until he died. I went with Stan for one visit, I watched Stan patiently explain how to use the Kindle, offering to create instructions and drop them off later that night. Stan was kind and understanding and patient. The patient talked to us about how much music had meant to him in life, and how vital it was for him to hear certain songs as he went through the comfort care process. We listened to a Janis Joplin song together. The love and concern that Stan showed this man as he faced death was admirable, and perfectly in match with how wonderful of a nurse Stan is. I am lucky to work with such a great nurse. I know that the patient, in this case, felt very lucky to have Stan be on his team. He was so appreciative of all Stan's care, it made a huge difference in his last days.