I am writing because I wanted to commend two ICU nurses, Melissa O’Neal and Cynthia Andrews, for their above and beyond care and compassion during my mother’s final days. My mom, H, who was in end stages of long-term pulmonary disease, was brought onto the Houston Methodist The Woodlands ICU through the emergency department on a Sunday and passed away the following day.
From the beginning, Melissa and Cynthia were exceptional in their interactions with my mom. They were not only attentive to her medically and kept informed of exactly what her decisions meant, but they were also an enormous comfort to my mom in a time of uncertainty and then finality. My mom’s physical and emotional needs were considered and cared for.
Beyond the exceptional care my mom received, I want to give praise to Melissa and Cynthia for the warmth and understanding that they demonstrated to us, as family members of their patient. I know that their primary focus is on the patient’s well-being, yet these two women extended such compassion and care to us as human beings in a moment that we were unprepared for. Melissa and Cynthia ensured that visitors had access to my mom in her last hours so that she could be continuously surrounded by those who love her. They made sure that we never left the room without telling my mom we loved her and that we would be back. And, what stands out most, is that even though they deal with illness and grief day in and day out, they held our hands and cried with us in our moments of need. The generous amount of authentic humanity Melissa and Cynthia gave us will forever be part of our family’s memory of my mom’s final hours with us.
To Melissa and Cynthia, I want to offer my sincerest, deepest gratitude on behalf of my mom, my family, and myself. We will remember you and your gift of compassion, always.