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.

2 comments:

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.

http://endlessknots.netage.com/endlessknots/2009/07/comfy-chairs-wireless-and-a-harp.html

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.........