Recently in CCU there was a very difficult case. A patient was admitted to CCU after a CPR on 3N. The patient had disowned his family years ago and was a ward of the state. A court date had been set for determining a court appointed guardian. Meanwhile the patient was clinging to life on a ventilator. The patient had suffered great neuron injury and the likelihood of recovery was slim. The court had ordered that all care be continued.
One morning the patient coded and the team jumped into action. Despite their efforts, the patient expired. Knowing that the patient had not had contact with his family in years, Anna felt that someone needed to know that he had passed. She called the assisted living facility from where the patient had been admitted and asked them for the contact information. She persuaded them to look through his personal belongings. With her persistence, they did and found a sheet of paper folded and tucked away in his wallet. On this piece of paper was a couple of phone numbers: one for his ex-wife & son in California and the one for his sister here in Michigan. Anna called the number for his ex-wife and found that it was disconnected. Anna did not give up there; she called the number for his sister and finally reached her. She let her know what had happened and asked for the number for his son and ex-wife. His sister gave her this number and she called it. The patient’s ex-wife was grateful that she had gone through so much to reach out to them to let them know that he had passed. The ex-wife and son made plans to come back to Michigan and pay their respects to the patient.