Working in healthcare, we witness both the birth and the loss of life on a daily basis. For those who are not so privileged, death that comes suddenly and unexpectedly can leave behind family members unprepared for the shock and grief. Fortunately for the wife of one Acute Rehabilitation patient, caring members of the Rehab team were there to help her when a normal day turned out to be anything but.
One of the patients in Rehab was receiving his daily therapy when he had a medical emergency and passed away. His wife was on her way to EMMC from Jackman, and arrived shortly after her husband’s death. Understandably, the news left her unable to determine what to do next.
Marcia Farwell, RN, intake coordinator, and Penny Gray, LSW, a social worker on the floor, immediately sprang into action to help the distraught woman. They not only provided shoulders to cry on, but also helped make arrangements for the women to meet her family. Her children live in Skowhegan, so Penny drove the woman’s van there, with Marcia following behind in her own car to bring Penny back to Bangor. En route, Penny provided emotional support and encouragement to the patient’s wife. Once Penny and Marcia were sure that she was safely with her family and receiving the support she needed, they returned to Bangor.
Marcia and Penny could have waited for the woman’s family to come from Skowhegan to pick her up, but they realized that she needed some one-on-one support. They literally went out of their way to make sure that a grieving wife was treated with compassion. Although both women are skilled healthcare professionals, they knew that sometimes the best care can be provided by a willingness to go the extra mile.