Liz works in the Pre-Admission testing Department. She was interviewing an elderly patient and her husband for an upcoming total knee procedure. Liz described the couple as being very sweet and how much she enjoyed talking with them.
In the process of obtaining the patient's health history, the patient indicated that the reason she was taking Xanax is because she is so worried about her husband. She went on to say that the husband had a history of and survival of a ruptured aortic aneurysm and now has a thoracic aneurysm that is inoperable. The wife described him as "living on borrowed time."
At the conclusion of the pre-admission testing visit, the couple was given free lunch tickets to get lunch before going to the Joint Class on 5 North. While eating lunch, the husband suddenly collapsed in a full cardiac arrest. There was staff in the cafeteria who immediately responded. Some were with the wife to try to provide her comfort.
As soon as Liz heard what was happening, she ran up to the cafeteria to be with the wife; she felt this lady needed to see a familiar face. The wife was so happy to see Liz and was comforted to have someone with her that she knew.
When Dr. C- came out to tell the wife her husband had died, Liz was able to tell him about the thoracic aneurysm. Dr. C- said that explained why they were unsuccessful in reviving the husband.
When he was moved to the E.D., Liz stayed with the wife as she said her goodbyes to her husband and as she waited for her daughter to arrive. Liz provided great comfort to this lady on possibly the worst day of her life.