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Director of Palliative Care Thanks Heartland Hospice for Going Above and Beyond

A Northwest Ohio hospital Director of Palliative Care was blown away by the care provided by one of the nurses and chaplains with Heartland Hospice serving Northwest Ohio. After witnessing how they both went above and beyond to care and be there for their patient, she wrote this letter to express her thanks and gratitude for Heartland Hospice:

“I wanted to take a moment to drop you a note and pass along a compliment to one of your nurses, as well as one of your chaplains. This morning we had a patient who was involved in a house explosion/fire and was brought to our Emergency Department. The patient was 98 years old and our trauma team declared she had an ‘absolutely non-survivable injury.’ The patient had already been placed on life support at the scene and was in the process of being transitioned to our Burn Unit when our department was consulted.  I met the patient’s family in the Emergency Department and they stated immediately that the patient ‘was a DNR’ and that they didn’t want life support continued. The patient’s family, although very close with the patient, couldn’t emotionally bring themselves to see the patient’s physical injuries and they were adamant that they didn’t want to be present while she was removed from life support. 

I was in the process of making those arrangements when I noticed a young nurse had come to see the patient. The nurse, Shawna, was wearing a Heartland Hospice badge and stated that she had been caring for the patient in her home for the last few months. She was visibly emotional over what had happened to the patient. She was looking to speak with the family and was already aware of the decision to remove life support.  When she learned that the patient was going to be alone during this time, Shawna returned to the patient’s room to be with her. After working with the patient’s family, I went to her room and I saw Shawna at the patient’s bedside, lovingly holding her hand. There was music playing in the room and she and the patient’s bedside nurses, as well as Shawna, were all providing much comfort to her. 

I guess I’m sending this just because I was so incredibly impressed with Shawna. The fact that she came to the Emergency Department to see the patient, but even more so that she stayed to offer peace and comfort to the patient when the family just didn’t feel that they could emotionally. In addition, Shawna informed the chaplain from Heartland who also came and who also provided support not only to the patient, but in case the family needed support, too.  It was a wonderful thing to see and I just wanted to express how touched I was to see that genuine, heartfelt, caring. 

Thank you so much for all Heartland Hospice does.”

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