If ever there was an occupation or job that needed an angel on Earth to perform it, it would be the task of being a nurse in an ICU ward. Last Sunday and Monday, while watching our father spend his last few hours here on Earth in the ICU ward at LGH, both his daughter and I were blessed to be accompanied by two of the sweetest, most caring and compassionate nurses that we have ever known: Rose Kilgore and Derek Brubaker. In caring for and helping our father get through his last few hours, these two Earthly angels performed their jobs with more professionalism and love than I have ever experienced in a hospital. We felt as though Rose was a member of our family and she was also slowly losing a loved one. They did everything humanly possible to allow our dad to spend his last hours with dignity and as little pain and discomfort as could be. When Rose's shift ended, she stayed a while to update Derek on everything that was happening and to make sure we were in good hands. In watching Derek perform his duties, we saw the same degree of compassion that Rose had shown.
When he saw that we were experiencing more than we could emotionally handle, he at first advised us to move to a "family room" to wait for the end; and then Derek explained that dad's passing might stretch into many more hours. He told us that we could go home and he would call us when the end was near and we could, if we wanted to, return to the hospital. If we wanted to, we could also wait at home and he would call us to tell us that the end had finally arrived. We chose the latter and when it came, Derek called us only minutes after Dad’s passing to let us know.
Both Rose and Derek answered all questions that we had throughout this long, sad ordeal and gave us the choice of many options of treatment to make Dad's last hours as comfortable as possible. I can only hope that every other family who has a loved one facing their last few days or hours of life can be fortunate enough to have skilled and compassionate nurses like these two "angels" to be with them on this final journey.
Lancaster General Hospital is indeed, very fortunate to have two employees like this, who treat their profession as so much more than just a job. Rose and Derek, our family will never forget your unbelievable kindness when it was most needed. Thank you.