In the very early morning, Summer Lilly created an extraordinary experience for a family who was in the midst of the worst night thus far of their lives. This family, on vacation, was on their way back from visiting the Grand Canyon when they were struck by another vehicle. They all suffered injuries and most required surgery and unfortunately, their mother suffered injuries that even after the incredible efforts of the trauma team and the OR ended up taking her life. With a great team effort by everyone involved in the Emergency and Critical Care units, they were able to bring the family together into CVICU while the mother passed away. They were able to keep the mother alive until they could bring the youngest son from PACU to join the older son and father at their mother's bedside. They pushed each of the sons hospital bed next to the mother and with the father standing at the side of the bed they all joined hands and provided exactly what the family needed, a few moments of sincere compassion and empathy for the tragedy that had come upon them while on the vacation their mother had dreamed of.
As they gathered around the family, the father asked if someone would say a prayer. Summer rose to the occasion and said a wonderful prayer. The husband then requested that they play a song. Summer began to sing Amazing Grace. This moment was absolutely extraordinary. Summer sang Amazing Grace and continued to sing as the mother passed away. Summer gave this family a moment they will always remember. This terrible tragedy would be any family's worst nightmare and this family had to endure the nightmare. Summer's prayer and incredible voice as she sang Amazing Grace is what this family will always remember. She rose to the occasion and gave this family the most incredible moments as their mother passed away.
As nurses, there are many barriers that must be overcome to provide the exceptional care that they hold themselves to each day. It takes extraordinary effort to give exceptional experiences for families in crisis. Summer provided an exceptional, family-centered experience that made a tragic night the best it could possibly be for a special family. Summer’s extraordinary act and compassionate care should be recognized. She is an incredible nurse and human being that we are lucky to have on our team!