A patient’s thanks for “heartfelt compassion” & “one last talk with Mom”

A patient’s thanks for “heartfelt compassion” & “one last talk with Mom”

A patient’s letter of thanks, sent also to The Capital for publication.

I recently suffered a debilitating injury and was admitted to the AAMC for emergency surgery. Their medical care was exemplary, but that’s not why I’m writing.

During recovery, I received a tearful call from my father informing me that Mom, who was valiantly fighting stage-four breast cancer, was losing the battle. Doctors at the D.C. hospital where she was admitted said anyone wanting to visit while she was still lucid needed to do so post haste. I was crushed.

Still in considerable pain, I informed the staff of my predicament and they sprang into action, collaborating on a plan that would enable me to visit Mom. During the night, team members sympathized — sharing private stories of losing loved ones to cancer. By early morning, the bedridden-to-ambulatory plan was unfolding.

The team worked hard to coordinate my treatment and, by late morning, medical transportation (which they had arranged) sped me to the D.C. hospital.

When I was wheeled into her room, Mom smiled brightly and we enjoyed one last, wonderful conversation. She didn’t realize she was slipping and our private talk only ended when she tried to rise, happily telling me she wanted to get Dad, who would be “so pleased to see you here!” At that point, Dad, my brother and sister and my wife eased through the door where they had been watching.

Mom slipped into a coma and a few days later quietly passed away at my childhood home. I will always be grateful to the teams at the AAMC, who transcended their well-earned medical reputation to weave “heartfelt compassion” into a course of treatment that included one last talk with Mom.

6 comments

  1. Posted by carol Namo, at Reply

    Wow, this has brought tears to my eyes. How wonderful that this was executed so well. Compassion goes a long way and when patient and family needs are met it is a call for victory. Thank you for making this last talk with mom happen.

  2. Posted by Jan Clemons, at Reply

    What a great example of how “going the extra mile” really works. Great appreciation to each one involved in this act of kindness.

  3. Posted by Cheryl Bergamaschi, at Reply

    My goose bumps have goose bumps! What an amazing vision of AAMC’s continued commitment to our patients and families.

  4. Posted by Cathaleen Ley, at Reply

    This is a beautiful story reflecting the compassion of our nursing staff.

  5. Posted by Christine Frost, at Reply

    What a great story and a tremendous effort reflecting our commitment to Patient and Family Centered Care on behalf of our patients and their families.

  6. Posted by Jeanne Morris, at Reply

    Now THAT is what I call Patient and Family Centered Care! What a beautiful story and kudos to all involved!

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