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Melanie Advocates For Her Patient

Updated: Feb 27

"He was a full code. It broke my heart."

advocating for her patient

Goodness, there are so many patients that roam my memories with affection. However, there was this one little old man. He was so very sick and emaciated, and his resources were exhausted. Even though the doctor had him on drips and IVF to keep his vitals stable, he said the man was dying anyway; it was just a matter of time. The fluids were seeping into his tissues and his skin had become translucent. He cried out and whimpered every time we repositioned him. He was a full code. It broke my heart.

When his daughter arrived, I took her aside and explained the care we were doing in detail, the rationale, and what the doctors thought was happening. She asked me what I thought. So, I was honest with her, explaining that she should not base her decisions on what I thought but on what she wanted for her father's last few hours. Later that night, more family came in, and the daughter approached me and asked for a DNR and that we remove all the fluids and drips from her dad. She thanked me with tears running down her face, telling me how grateful she was for the honesty so that she could make sure her father's last few hours would be comfortable.

My patient passed away peacefully and without obvious pain, with his family at the bedside at 6 am, just as a gorgeous sunrise came into view from the window in his room.

For more stories like this one, pick up a copy of Off the Chart A Nurse's Journey

of Heart and Humor at

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