Final efforts create lasting memory for hospice family
Posted by Kelly Broederdorf, RN
Our loved ones never leave us. We remember them in memories, through things left behind, and sometimes, through acts made in the final moments. Recently, a patient’s daughter-in-law made a lasting request that overwhelmed us with love and gratitude.
The patient joined JourneyCare services with a focus on comfort, care and preparing the family for the difficult time ahead. The family was all very supportive of each other. The love in the house was palpable. Due to the patient's rapid decline, the core family managed a lot of sleepless nights and attempted to manage him around the clock. Crisis care was started at night only, and the family was so grateful.
After doing an early morning assessment, the patient's daughter-in-law came outside to talk with me. She had an idea to surprise her mother-in-law, the patient’s wife. She explained that she was previously engaged about nine years ago to a service member who was killed overseas. She added that the thing that she missed most was hearing the heartbeat of her loved one. Her idea grew and she asked if JourneyCare could assist her in retrieving a Doppler so she could record the patient's heartbeat. She went on to say, "You don't really think about it until it's not there and then you would give anything to have it back one more time."
This is when our team went to work. Through a series of emails, exchanges and unprecedented efforts, we worked to get her the equipment she needed. Once at the home, our team was able to distract the family while the daughter-in-law recorded the patient's heartbeat. Due to the amazing work of all the team members, this recording was obtained mere hours prior to his death. The family will forever have this precious memory and help them remember their loved one for years to come.