Currently a Medical-Surgical Clinical Nurse Specialist in the Cleveland Clinic Nursing Institute working in Nursing Education and Professional Development at Fairview Hospital, Kathleen A. Singleton, MSN, APRN-CNS, CMSRN, recalls a patient from long ago that she will never forget.
I believe in miracles…
Over 40 years ago while working in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit , we cared for a two-year old boy who had tear duct surgery. Brown hair, delicate, beautiful facial features, a button nose and blue eyes. He reacted adversely to the procedure and passed away soon after the operation. His parents were completely devastated at the loss of their only son. I was a young nurse and had not witnessed this level of penetrating grief, raw sadness, and inconsolable dejection as they left the hospital without their precious baby.
Our job was to hold it together to get this couple through the inevitable steps and necessary tasks at this horrific moment. I recall several of my fellow nurses not being able to sleep for a couple of days after. The sheer weight of a heavy, mind-boggling, fog-like headache lasted beyond the end of the shift. I can still hear and see the physicians and caregivers who were crying silently and aloud as we muddled through the rest of the day.
Fourteen months later, we got a card from the parents. We remembered them immediately. In the card was a note of thanks for our care and picture of their newborn twins!
What God had taken, He gave back to them two-fold. I felt I had experienced a miracle of resilience of the soul and a restoration of the human spirit. Doing the right things and doing them right; guiding patients and families through their toughest moments with dignity, respect, grace, compassion and empathy, while sharing and celebrating their miracles embodies the essence of nursing.