Friday, December 18, 2009

What more could I pray for for a loved one?

From the spouse of a patient. This hit home to me in that my mother died several years ago of a similar injury while on this anticoagulant. Although we didn't have a harpist while we awaited her death at New York-Presbyterian, we had a similar experience with marvelously caring staff. We, too, were grateful.

C's fall early in the morning was unwitnessed so I cannot say whether a dizzy spell or loss of balance caused it. He hit his head very hard against a sheetrock wall and the Coumadin regime proceeded silently to steal him away from me. The final 24 hours arrived with shocking suddenness. C was restless in bed and within fifteen minutes his eyes closed and he was unresponsive. The emergency crew arrived minutes after. From home to [the local hospital]; then by helicopter to Beth Israel Deaconess, arriving there around 9:30. I had to crawl my way through Boston commuter traffic and arrived at C's bedside at 11:00am. From that point forward the end was known, and I kept a vigil with my beloved until his passing around 2:45am the next morning.

The staff at Beth Israel Deaconess were wonderful. Every possible comfort was provided for C and me, including a harpist in our private sanctuary/room. She is a social worker and very gifted on the Celtic harp. C loved good music and after a half hour or so of beautiful selections C's breathing settled into a more accepting rhythm. Given the givers, it became a fairly stressfree death. What more could I pray for for a loved one?

A short video of our harpist follows. If you cannot view the embedded video here, you can follow this link to see it on YouTube.


Albert Maruggi said...

this story reminded me of the short, but peaceful time I had with my 83 year old aunt at St. Joe's hospital in St. Paul, MN. After a Pontin Stoke and other complications, we gave her over to a caring staff and the will of God.

The two and half days gave me time to reflect about Aging the opportunity of a lifetime

Thank you BIDMC for having the soul to care for patients like C in this post.

Paul Levy said...

Transferred from Facebook:

Julia: Coming upon Nancy and her harp anywhere in the hospital is a blessing for which I never fail to be grateful. Thank you for making this a regular part of our caring environment.

Jessica: I ran into that harp at a "meeting" at the hospital once.

Sagar: My wife happened to visit BI once and fortunately listened to the harp. She was mesmerized and thanked Nancy for the wonderful act she was doing.

Juliana: I'm walking through the lobby, and there she was, playing the harp. I stood there and smiled listening and feeling so good. Oh the calmness.........