I wanted to take the time to write a letter to heartfully thank you and your staff for the exemplary care that was provided to my mother during her 2 procedures and recovery.
What started as a trip to the Emergency Room for her back pain on June 16th, ended up with Kyphoplasty, on June 21st. Then, during her recovery, she suffered a heart attack which was promptly followed by triple bypass surgery on June 23rd. She is 80 years old.
Ty Van Der Merwe was the nurse stationed to care for her in CVICU immediately after her bypass surgery. He very graciously allowed my brother and me access to see her. Although she was sedated, he was compassionate with her. We spoke for a few moments then he proceeded to explain each machine and its function in relation to her care.
Suddenly, one of the machines beeped. He yells that her heart had stopped. Within a second he had somehow managed to move through us, around the bed, lowered her and began aggressively performing CPR. My brother became emotional and went down the hall. I stayed for a second, then as other medical staff flowed in around me, I quietly backed out of the room to the nurses’ station and stood there watching.
Many years ago I had to perform CPR on my husband for upwards of 10 minutes before emergency crews arrived. Unfortunately, his heart attack had been so massive he could not be saved. I understand the intensity and determination it takes to perform CPR and how barbaric it looks to a bystander when done properly.
Ty Van Der Merwe worked hard and never deviated from concentrating all of his energy into saving her. I knew just by watching him, that no matter what the outcome, he was giving his entire heart and soul into doing a job he loved. For that single split second in time, he and my mother would always be connected because of his actions.
A few moments later I went with another nurse to a waiting area as the Doctor and staff continued working to revive my mother. Thankfully they were successful.
I was able to meet up with Ty a few evenings later in CVICU. This meeting was very emotional for both of us as we hugged and spoke. We both fought tears. I will never be able to repay him. He was apologetic that I had witnessed him performing CPR. He said the family should not see that. I told him it was ok and explained my story. I let him know that even if the outcome had not been good, I would always remember the true effort he had poured into saving her and would be grateful for that. He is truly a caring individual.
Please take the time to let him know how proud I am of him! He has made a lasting impression on behalf of the hospital with me and my family. His quick actions, cool head, and understanding of not only his job but of the importance of family has given us another chance of keeping our family complete for perhaps a few more good years.