TATU has had the task of caring for one critically ill patient in particular for many months, since this past September. Unfortunately, the outcome will likely not be positive, at least in some regards. Knowing this, we have all (as nurses) done our best to provide the highest quality of care, compassion, and emotional support to this patient. We have all provided attempts at brightening her day with coloring projects, discussing her favorite team, The New Orleans Saints, decorating her room, or just helping her manage her pain, anxiety, and provide emotional support during this process. One example that really showed the power of caring was exemplified in the efforts of Tiffany Burnette.
Last fall, when this patient's prognosis was not too poor, she vowed she would give the patient her personal season tickets to any one Saints home game during the next season, as a means of motivating the patient’s recovery. This will likely not be possible, as a result of the patient's prognosis, and so, she admitted she felt like she needed to do something for this ultimate Saints fan. The patient's condition has continued to deteriorate, so she began, about a week prior to this letter, to contact any and all Saints foundations, including public relations, local media via text, phone, email; sports agents and the athletes themselves via direct messaging, twitter, and any other means possible. Ultimately, her reaching out to Dr. B and he reaching out to his associates led to a surprising phone call.
Our shocked secretary dutifully answered the phone only to learn Drew Brees was on the phone for this patient! The call was transferred into the room, and he spoke to the wide-eyed girl for some time. Though the patient was unable to speak to him, she kept mouthing "OMG" to Tiffany, her nurse at the bedside. The patient was so elated and happy due to these few moments that were all hers, a gift of something she loves so much and will not have an opportunity to experience again.
The extraordinary compassion and dedication Tiffany has provided to this patient is wonderful, and truly needs to be acknowledged. I have to say, we were all in tears at work yesterday, like I am again just thinking about it.