Compassion is a word with no finite meaning. When it is demonstrated you see it, you feel it, and you never forget it. This is the story as my family experienced much-needed compassion from an emergency department nurse at Saint Vincent Health Center.
Emergency departments, by definition of the word, are chaotic environments. Once you add the entire sensory stimulus — alarms ringing, patients yelling, arguing, children crying, doctors and nurses being pulled in a hundred different directions, you can see the chaotic environment becomes real. It’s not exactly a place where you expect to find compassion, but that’s just where we found it when we needed it most.
You see, my mother had become ill around Christmas, and her desire was to stay in her home with her family around her. At close to 90, my mother lived with much wisdom and knew that “we can’t live forever.” It was our job — as her children — to make sure it happened and her wishes were kept no matter what.
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