My father was admitted to the ICU with complications from pulmonary fibrosis. He was intubated and I knew that the end was probably near. This is when we met Karah Crumley.
She was an absolute Godsend. Our family had been very lucky; we never had to face any illnesses before so having the patriarch of the family in critical condition was a devastating blow. Karah had a very calming presence, the kind that made you feel that no matter what happened everything was going to be alright.
The family came into the room and was able to communicate with my father. Karah kept him sedated just enough that he was not fighting the tube, but he could still shake his head yes and no. I do not know how many nurses would have thought about doing this generous act.
Because of her, all his children were able to say the things that they needed to say and family that he had not seen in years was able to come in and say what they needed to as well. By the end of the day, he began to fail and things were turning for the worse. He was sedated more.
My mother talked about wanting the pastor that married them to come in and pray over him. This pastor had been retired for years but was still working part-time in a church somewhere in Columbus. Karah tracked him down, called him and he came in. This meant a great deal to my mother. That night we withdrew care and Karah stayed well past her shift to be with all of us and my father.
I am a nurse as well, I work in an E.R. and I can tell you that having Karah and the kind things that she did make me want to be a better nurse. I think about things differently and am much more empathetic.