Lesley Coleman was the charge nurse in the Emergency Room on Tuesday, December 31, when our daughter was brought in via ambulance at 3:30 p.m.
For the past 17 months, A has been experiencing anger outbursts, rage, and aggression verbally and physically toward me specifically, and my husband indirectly. We have tried, and continue to try, a myriad of interventions to help us get our daughter back. On Tuesday afternoon, A was transported to Memorial North on her way to Highlands Behavioral Health in Littleton, Colorado, where she remains this evening. We ended up in the ER from 3:30 - 10 p.m. when the AMR Transport was able to drive A to Highlands.
It is the time period from 3:30 - 7:45 p.m. that I need to tell you about.
I first met Lesley out in the Emergency waiting room when the receptionist there was not kind, not attentive, and was actually rude to me. Lesley came out to talk with me, and was kind, compassionate, could obviously tell that I was an emotionally distraught mother, and listened intently. She allowed me to come with her to see my daughter. Once in the room with A, Lesley came in and sat with A and me, spent time telling A what was going to occur while we waited for the social worker, the AMR Transport, etc.
While I knew Lesley had many responsibilities that afternoon as the nurse in charge, Lesley made us feel like we were the only patients in the hospital. There were absolutely no judgments or a critical spirit as we worked through the label of "mental patient" with a police officer watching A's every move. Lesley shared her story in such a loving, age-appropriate way that I literally watched A begin to relax, be more peaceful than she had been in days, and really connect to Lesley. Lesley's words, her loving demeanor, her frank talk (when necessary), her terrific sense of humor, and her time were absolutely what A and I needed for those many hours. When I had to leave to talk with the social worker, it was Lesley who came in to comfort A as she had to remove her street clothes (as she prepared to go to Highlands) and put on the paper scrubs given. When I returned some 45 minutes later, Lesley was there, supporting A, encouraging her, using a sense of humor with her to help settle her down. Her expert interpersonal skills and understanding of how to relate to my distraught 13 year old who is plagued by something we don't understand, was absolutely amazing!! And to top it all off, Lesley stayed 45 minutes after her shift had concluded to be with A, to help her calm down, and to reassure her that she would get through this.
At the risk of sounding dramatic, Lesley Coleman was our angel on December 31. Her care, compassion, honesty, support, and sense of humor helped our family through a very difficult situation. Memorial North is fortunate to have such an amazing caregiver on staff.