As a COVID ICU and MICU nurse, Wendy Bradley has provided nursing care to COVID-positive patients since the beginning of this pandemic. She has worked tirelessly to stabilize these patients during these difficult days as well as comfort them at the end of their lives.
Recently, I witnessed Wendy in an end-of-life patient care situation. Wendy had worked with this patient for several shifts. Sadly, COVID became his kryptonite and he couldn't overcome its effects. Wendy worked diligently to coordinate all the complex details of his quite complicated care including multiple IV drips, a ventilator, and continuous dialysis, to name a few. This patient became so frail that he simply couldn't maintain any longer. The patient's family made the decision to transition him to comfort care. Sadly, the patient's family was not able to travel from their home to be with this patient at the end of his life.
When Wendy realized that his family wasn't able to be present at the end of his life, she created a plan and coordinated with the family for the next best option, to have them be as present as they could be. Wendy gathered an iPad and called the family so that they could talk to him and see him before the process of transitioning to comfort care started. Wendy sat in a chair beside the patient in full COVID PPE, the entire time, while his family was on the iPad call. Wendy held his hand for the family since they weren't able to. She allowed the family to see him and to talk to him during the final moments of his life. Wendy witnessed his last words to his family. She cried a little with the family too. Wendy was present and in the moment during this tremendously sad time for this patient and his family. She showed tremendous compassion, empathy, and grace during a very difficult time. Wendy simultaneously provided a peaceful and dignified death for this patient while ensuring that his family was able to share his last words and last moments.