We had a patient on our unit that was admitted because he was abandoned by his family in the ER. He told several nurses that ‘my family has wished that I would die and specifically to drown in the bathtub’. Despite the difficult family situation, the patient was very comical and loved to laugh with everyone, but especially had a bond with one nurse in particular, Tanya Claxton. Tanya was determined to keep him smiling and not think of his dreadful past. She checked on him daily and would sit with him just to talk about the day and what he watched on TV. Also, they talked about his love for architecture. He told everyone that when he grew up he was going to be an architect. He further explained that he would never use computers for designing buildings. He said he would design with his hand because it is more meaningful and comes from the heart.
One particular day, Tanya made him get out of the bed and sit in the chair. He is not used to this because his family made him lay in the bed and did not spend any time with him. She said you are going to get up and we are going to “design” some buildings today. She wanted to see his work. She gave him several pieces of paper, pencils, and crayons so they could design a building together.
Tanya had this patient when he was being transferred to SAR. She asked the CNL if we could show him the “blueprints” of the 6th and 7th floor. The CNL spoke with the manager and together they decided that we would give him a copy of the blueprint to keep, so he would continue dreaming big on his journey to become an architect.
For this very compassionate encounter with this disabled patient in need, I nominate Tanya Claxton.