Kidney Transplant TEAM at Mercy Health Saint Mary's

Dr. Boelkins, Kathy Vandenbosh, Cindy Henney, Karyn Honig, and Liz Murphy

Kidney Transplant TEAM at Mercy Health Saint Mary's, RNs and more

Kidney Transplant Unit - Outpatient
Mercy Health Saint Mary's
Grand Rapids, Michigan
United States

The Kidney Transplant office is nestled in a corner of the 3rd floor of the Wege Building and shares a waiting room with Cardiac Rehabilitation.  This location is not well known to many staff members in the hospital – but it is well known to patients who receive the gift of life.

A patient suffered from kidney disease for many years and she finally received the gift of a kidney transplant. This day will be celebrated for many years to come.  Following a typical post-operative treatment plan, she was discharged six days later.  Like all patients who received a kidney transplant, she returned to the office for her first follow up appointment.

As a nurse in the transplant office, one of the most compelling roles is to educate the patient on how to properly care for their new kidney transplant which often entails many detailed instructions.  As Kathy Vandenbosh, RN  was sharing her knowledge, Kathy noticed the patient's eyes rolling back.  While Kathy knew the discussion was on the edge of exciting, her astute clinical assessment skills recognized this was not boredom, but a serious complication.

With swift action, Kathy assessed her.  She was unresponsive and pulseless.  Kathy calmly yelled for help. Dr. Boelkins, who was nearby,  immediately responded by demonstrating competent chest compressions.  Cindy Henney, RN heard the call and responded by getting the closest crash cart which is located across the hall in cardiac rehab.  Two cardiac rehab associates came with the crash cart and applied the AED.  The team expertly activated the emergency response system.  A Code Blue was called overhead.  This team of expert clinicians attended to BLS until the Rapid Responders arrived and took over the resuscitation.

The team was able to regain a pulse.  The patient was intubated and quickly transported to the Emergency Department.  While all of this action was going on, the patient’s son was in the room as well.  Instead of just letting him stand there in shock and awe, Karyn Honing, MSW, held him in her prayers and supported him to the Emergency Department with his mom, who was alive because of this team's efforts.

While this may seem like a familiar scene to the nurses and physicians in attendance, what is most compelling is that this scenario does not play out in the transplant office.  The quick actions of this team which is engrained from years of astute clinical experience saved her life.  It was discovered that she had an MI.  She was stented and transferred to the ICU where she received excellent nursing care from H2 nursing staff.  The compassion displayed by this team was outstanding.

Thank you for the excellent care you provide to those entrusted to us!

Team Members honored with this DAISY TEAM Award:

Dr. Boelkins, MD

Kathy Vandenbosh, RN

Cindy Henney, RN

Karyn Honig, MSW

Liz Murphy, CNC