My mother was a patient in Mercy's CCU for four days recently. When it became apparent that my mom would not recover from her illness, my father, sister, brother and I made the difficult decision to not pursue further medical treatment, but instead, keep mom comfortable and allow her life to come it its natural completion. Interestingly, this decision was made the morning of her 77th birthday.
The CCU nurse assigned to my mom's care on her birthday was Wendy Latalladi. From the moment she began her shift early that morning Wendy was very attentive to mom's medical care. Throughout the morning Wendy came into the room frequently to check on my mother, always asking if there was anything she needed.
Around mid-morning, we consulted with the doctor and arrived at our decision to let mom go peacefully. The ventilator was removed in the early afternoon and from that moment on, Wendy was very attentive to all of us, especially my mother and father. While her words and actions were always professional, Wendy went "above and beyond" by exuding empathy, compassion, kindness and respect for my mom and for all our family gathered in the room. She provided frequent updates on mom's vitals and advised us when she thought the pain medication needed to be adjusted. As Wendy completed her shift in the early evening, she assured us of her thoughts and prayers.
My father remained overnight and stayed in the room with my mother. When Wendy returned the following morning to begin her shift, my mother's vitals began to deteriorate, and it became apparent that her life was coming to an end. She shared this information with my dad and offered to contact my sister, my brother and me to apprise us of my mom's declining condition.
As our family kept quiet vigil in the CCU room throughout the morning, Wendy was respectfully present to each of us, coming into the room several times to see how we were doing. Each time she gently touched our shoulder or back as she passed by. After my mom's death, all of us commented that Wendy's gentle touch had a healing effect. In the immediate moments following my mom's passing, Wendy was in the room and offered consolation through hugs and words of encouragement.
Wendy was the day time nurse that rook care of my mother-in-law recently. My mother-in-law did pass away and she received excellent care while in the CCU. Wendy was not only taking care of my mother-in-law, but she saw to it that my father-in-law's needs were met as well. Wendy made sure our family received meals so that we could all stay by my mother-in-law's side. Wendy was always there, without being intrusive, to make my mother-in-law's last days very comfortable.