Yolanda Castillo-Baron
April 2022
North Florida Regional Medical Center
United States




Yolanda held the patient's hand and started to comfort her. She spoke softly and thanked her for everything she had done during her life.
The patient, B, and Yolanda met for the first time when she processed her admission to the oncology floor. During the few days under her care, they developed a friendship that led to the patient confiding to Yolanda that she did not have a good relationship with her family. She also related that she had to rely on neighbors to help her out with her pets from time to time. One of her greatest concerns was her dog, B, that had accompanied her for over 6 years. It was very difficult for the patient to leave him behind every time she needed to get hospitalized.

During that admission, Yolanda offered to help with B whenever she needed so she could focus on her treatment knowing that the dog was in good hands. A few weeks later the patient returned to the oncology floor and was under the care of a different nurse. Yolanda noticed that she had returned and went to visit her. She was much sicker and had been advised to consider hospice but she was hesitant because she didn’t want to leave her dog. She was afraid he could end up in a dog pound. Yolanda told her that she could take care of B if she needed to go to hospice.

The following day, the patient informed the medical team that she was ready to transition to hospice. A few days later, Yolanda got in touch with the neighbor taking care of B and arranged a visit to the patient in hospice. She hadn’t had any visits during her stay so she was very happy to see Yolanda, her neighbor, and her pet. It would be the last time the patient could be close to her beloved dog. After returning from a short break from work, Yolanda went back to visit her friend. The nurse related that nobody had visited her all that time. Yolanda noticed that the patient looked really sick and the hospice nurse confirmed that her health had been declining quickly since the previous day.

Yolanda understood that she was actively dying. Yolanda held the patient's hand and started to comfort her. She spoke softly and thanked her for everything she had done during her life. She let her know that her friendship was very valuable and that she was loved. Yolanda let the patient know that it was ok to let go, that everything was going to be fine, and that she would take good care of B. Right after Yolanda assured the patient that B was going to be fine, she passed away. B is now part of Yolanda’s family. She loves when he welcomes her back home every morning after work. She is very happy to fulfill the wishes of her friend. B is enjoying the long walks and all the treats he gets from his new family. He is a really good boy.