Because Rose stopped . . .
by Andrea Powell, HPCCR Marketing Manager
Since Rose is a nurse, you might think that saving a life is pretty much par for the course. It’s not. When you’re a hospice nurse, you actually spend more time with patients who are actively dying; patients who have signed DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) orders and who have made plans for end of life. But last week, the life in question did not belong to one of Rose’s patients.
Rose was in her car with her son when they noticed a man in front of them driving erratically. He eventually swerved off the road and Rose stopped her car. (And here’s how I know that Rose is a much better person than I am: I would have been muttering angrily under my breath at the erratic driving and would have sped right past the car as soon as the driver started moving off to the side. But I digress.) When Rose walked up to the car, she peered through the window. She could tell the man was not breathing, but she couldn’t help him because the doors were locked and the windows were up. Quickly assessing the situation, she called 911. Luckily, two other men had stopped to see what was going on. Rose explained that the man inside the car couldn’t breathe and the good Samaritans broke the window and pulled the man out of the car. Rose performed CPR and literally brought the man back to life while the paramedics raced to their location.
We talk all the time about hospice heroes in our organization. We use it when we talk about our generous volunteers because they continually offer their time and talents to help hospice patients and families struggling with the trials of terminal disease. And we also refer to our clinicians as heroes because have responded to a calling — they have chosen a career that puts death in their faces every single day and they meet it head on with grace, determination, and compassion.
So Rose is used to being a hero — for helping patients die with dignity. But this time she got to experience the opposite ending. This time she heard breath returning. Felt heart rhythms. Saw life.
And you know what really makes her a hero? The fact that she stopped in the first place. How many of us, especially in our pre-holiday mad rush to get a million and one errands accomplished in limited time, negotiating the roads like crazed maniacs, would have stopped to make sure that someone driving erratically was really okay? (Again, I would have been bemoaning the hazards of texting while driving as I sped around him.) But because Rose stopped, a family in Charlotte did NOT lose a loved one last week. Because Rose stopped, the man was offered the joy of life instead. She’s a hero. Plain and simple.Explore posts in the same categories: awareness, hospice comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.