Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Inspiration - - An ICU Wedding at ACH

September 28th, 2009

I haven’t written a blog for quite sometime and have been gathering my thoughts to continue to write about health reform and make the case for why change is so desperately needed.

Somehow after receiving an e-mail from Amy (one of our nursing supervisors) that subject --although important-- needed to take second seat to a more important story.

This past weekend many of our colleagues helped create a beautiful experience for the family and friends of one of our ICU patients. Amy did such a nice job of describing what occurred that I want to share her words with you. She and I both are so very proud of our team, their compassion, and how they choose to go about their work in service to others in such a special way. Here's Amy's summary:

We currently have a patient in our ICU who has been with us (in some capacity) for nearly two months. She is from the Youngstown area and initially came to our facility as a patient of Dr. Hudzik. Unfortunately, her health has continued to decline and her chances for survival.

(Over the time she's been with us ) the nurses in ICU have bonded not only with her, but, also with her family. Her daughter is scheduled to be married sometime near the end of October. As time goes by, it is becoming apparent that she won't be able to attend the wedding, and may not even survive until then. So, the family asked if they could have a ceremony in her room in ICU for their immediate family. (Critical Care Director) Deb Clemens got the go ahead from all the necessary folks and the date was set for 9/26 at 9:00pm.

The nurses in ICU stepped up and began planning an informal celebration for the bride and groom. I can't even begin to list all the things they did, but, some included: cake, many, many decorations, food, balloons, punch, music, and even a dress for her to wear. All the patients in ICU were informed (of our plan to host a wedding) and, if they chose not to participate, their curtains were shut during the activities.

Most of the families visiting other patients participated and one family even bought a second cake! Many of the ICU nurses and secretaries even came in on their day off -- on a Saturday night.

A little after nine, the couple was married in her room with their minister and then had a small celebration in the conference room. I'm not sure how much (the patient) absorbed, as she was getting worse throughout the day, but her family could not have been more appreciative and I could not have been more proud of the ICU staff and our hospital.

This probably isn't listed on any Planetree pamphlet as a service we offer, but it was, without a doubt, a very Planetree effort.