In December, the AICU received a patient who had sustained a serious head injury when working in a different country. Siobhan Deasy was assigned to his care. Immediately she made a personal connection with the family who were Irish and had come to the U.S. to be with their son, the patient. Throughout his stay, both Siobhan and Teresa Deasy would sit with the family and fiancée and provide emotional support and guidance. As many of us know, it is very difficult to make hard decisions such as to withdraw life support, Hospice, organ donation, funeral arrangements, contacting the Irish Embassy, helping coordinate moving the body back to Ireland, etc. for our loved ones. After one of these sessions, I was able to visit with them and the family. The father and other relatives’ faces prior to this were grief stricken. Thanks to Siobhan and Teresa, their consolation and support gave the family such comfort to know they were making the right decision to withdraw life support and they felt/believed it was the right thing to do.
The relief and gratitude on the face of the father is one I will never forget as he looked at Siobhan and Teresa. It was such a look of love and thanks. As an additional show of love of compassion, Teresa gave the father a treasured Shamrock souvenir to hold on to remind them that they were being thought of and prayed for by their Irish Nurses. The patient was still in the hospital on Christmas. This Christmas was very special for Teresa and Siobhan as their sister, husband and nephew were coming to visit in the U.S. for the first time. Teresa had been looking forward to their visit on minute by minute basis. Because of Siobhan and Teresa’s incredible patient advocacy and passion for their profession, they took the patient’s family to Christmas mass and then to a Christmas brunch along with their own family. I am so understating the impact and the things that both Siobhan and Teresa did for the family, but think it’s critical that they are awarded the highest Nursing Award, i.e., the DAISY Award. Apparently the family and fiancée felt the same as these extraordinary nurses were mentioned during the funeral mass in Ireland.
I also forgot to add that both Siobhan and Teresa came back to be with the patient when the family made the decision to remove life support. Just incredible compassionate care.