Death is often a time when family and friends gather around to comfort each other. Hospitalized families, especially those from a great distance, often rely on the nursing staff for help and comradery. One patient in particular on 7B was particularly endearing to the staff. This 4-year-old ICare patient that had been on 7B for numerous days and started to decompensate when being transferred from the bed to the stretcher. Within minutes the urgency of the situation changed to the point that staff called the condition. When the PICU team arrived, CPR had been started since the little girl was pulseless and apneic. The critical airway team was called to intubate the patient. The young girl was bleeding from multiple orifices and the nurses were replacing the blood loss with red blood cells, plasma, and platelets, but it just wasn't enough. An attempt was made to place the patient on EMCO at the bedside however it was unsuccessful, and the patient was pronounced while on 7B. Since the event took place in the evening the 7 pm shift came on to support their peers and the family while they said their last goodbyes. Staff even came from home to support mom and dad since they only had each other being from out of state and that we were their family for so long.
When the ICare Team and social work spoke with the family the next day mom was so appreciative and commended the responsiveness of everyone, the quickness, and urgency in which they attempted interventions to change the outcome and support she felt they had in their time of need. Mom stated that although she never imagined anything happening like this, she was amazed by how the team went above and beyond and worked together to support each other and their family. She said, "staff came from everywhere as if falling from the skies to help."
The seasoned and new staff cried together, hugged and supported each other's patients on the unit. 7B team including the physicians participated in a debriefing session. During that session, staff shared their feelings and takeaways from the experience and felt that having the team share the feedback from the family and how they perceived the event clearly demonstrated how the 7B/ ICare team made a meaningful difference not only in their daughter's life but also in her death.
A few months later 7B received a package from the family address to the 7B family. In that package was a book "My Wonderful Life". This book was a tribute to the patient who had passed away and was written by the parents. In the final pages, it reads " While resting on Mommy's chest a Doc came in and said let's get another x-ray. No big deal. X-rays were a part of my regular routine. Mommy and the nurse sat me up to take a trip to the x-ray machine. In an Instant, within a blink of an eye, quietly and unexpectedly I was ushered to Heaven. My entire Being perfected." To the 7B doctors, physicians, clinical staff and therapist at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh- YOU MADE MY LIFE WONDERFUL.
Truly a one of a kind tribute to the staff on 7B and their ability to help this family through one of the hardest times of their lives.
After three weeks, we had the pleasure of meeting all the team. Everyone is so wonderful. Thank you for taking great care of us!