Pam helped me get thru some situations with very positive outcomes where under other circumstances it would have been very easy for the results to turn negative.
D arrived on November 9 from Carle Hospital, Champaign, IL. Duane was a candidate for a VAD. On November 17 his defibrillator went off right after breakfast. Pam Gilbert was his nurse. At that time I said she put on roller skates and flew around his hospital room with precision and commitment to keeping D alive. Little did I know, she had wings of an angle, not roller skates on. At this time D was put in a drug induced coma. On November 20 a temporary assist device was installed to give the heart a chance to heal for a "week or two".
On November 24 Pam was on duty with D and said, "All my patients have to poop and he hasn't since the 17th, so I'm going to find some prune juice (her own private stash I suspect). She was thrilled with the results. (Only the mother can appreciate the desire for a bowel movement - when you've had a newborn.)
Although not assigned to D again during our stay, Pam would pop into the room and give him words of encouragement. She would tell him how good he looked, how good his numbers were on the screen. We developed a trust in Pam that went deeper than anyone can explain. She answered our questions truthfully and with a commitment to the patient.
When it came to D questioning whether to have the LVAD put in he felt at ease asking questions of Pam and receiving answers. He mentioned that he felt closer to her than to any of the doctors and surgeons who popped into the room ask a few questions and then left. Pam spoke of her faith in God as D spoke of his and they knew that God would direct D's decision.
D made the decision that he did not want to have the LVAD put in, he told the doctors of his decision, which was not respected. When he confirmed his decision a week later, December 17 the "temporary VAD" (which was only to be on for a week or two - but was now four weeks) the Good Lord came in the morning of December 18 at 3:30 AM and shut off the temporary device. This ended the discussion of whether to wean D off the VAD or just shut it off. The next step was to cap off the cannulas and send D back to Champaign.
Pam was there the night we left to give D hope and encouragement as he began a new chapter of his life. She assured him God was with him and he would see his grandchildren over Christmas, celebrate the New Year with all of his family. We are delighted to know that God has plans for D as he left the hospital on January 9 for the first time since October 26 and is a resident of Meadowbrook Rehabilitation/Clark Lindsey Village, Urbana, IL, where he is doing occupational and physical therapy with the goal of returning to the farm and home.
A true believer, Pam Gilbert, goes above and beyond in her love and encouragement of her patients. We are so glad God put her in our lives at this time and know that she will continue to do an outstanding job for many other patients in the future. A smile, an encouraging word and confidence of an angel doing the work of the Lord - that's our Pam.