During a procedure, our loved one coded. Needless to say, the family was quite concerned. So much was happening at once, and so many concerns were on our minds. Shortly after his arrival on the unit, a nurse on the floor saw us gathered around his bedside and stated, “if we need to get in there, we need to get in there in a hurry” – the implication being that things could go badly at any moment. This was the first moment I remember Sara’s shining star in her concern for patient comfort and care. Someone related this story to her, and she was shocked and immediately left the room. Sara returned a few minutes later. She told us that she was unhappy that such blunt attitude and words had been used and said, “you can sleep right there on that floor in front of the door if you want to, I will even bring you a blanket. Make yourselves comfortable and don’t worry about that happening again.”
While our loved one was on the unit, Sara took the time to talk to our family. She befriended us and it was obvious that she cared deeply about helping others. Her endless compassion made our experience far less scary. I can think of nothing more valuable. Sara spoke to my loved one in plain terms and decoded the medical jargon in ways that made sense. She earned his trust, which was not an easy thing to do. I wish I could tell you that my loved one’s health improved, but it did not and his condition worsened. We feared the worst. Sara did not fill us with false hopes or platitudes; she continued to explain what was happening. She counseled us. She gave hugs. She made sure our loved one’s comfort was as much a priority as his next dose of medication. She was a superhero. She was a leader and a friend, a counselor, and a caregiver, and to us a trusted ally in a big scary emotional place. Never once did she speak to my loved one as though he was addled and unable to comprehend. She addressed him directly as though she had known him for years and offered encouragement at every opportunity. She told him, “Our paths will cross again, I’m sure of it.”
He was later moved under the care of Hospice, passing peacefully with his family in his home. We will forever be grateful for Sara’s genuine concern and compassionate attitude. She gave hugs when they were needed, she provided friendship and conversation to everyone in the room, and she told the truth in a way that did not increase the fear and uncertainty, but instead provided comfort and understanding that we had exhausted all medical options and were now fulfilling our loved one’s wishes to pass with dignity. It is because of this rare combination of skill, compassion, and attention to care that makes her a true DAISY Nurse.