Monday, October 25, 2010
"This month began with Nurse Marian Reeves relating to me a distressing story of an impoverished patient and her family. This family consisted of the patient, her husband, three teenagers, two cats and two kittens, all living in a single room. Marian told me that very day, the patient watched helplessly as one of the kitttens died, gasping for breath as its life ended. The patient was distressed and grieving, not only because the kitten died, but because she was afraid she might die the same way. We began to think of how we could use Pet Peace of Mind to make the situation better for the family. First, we loaded some cat food and litter for Marian to take to the family that afternoon. A few days later, I called the family and arranged to have the cats spayed and neutered, as well as have their vaccinations updated. We also made plans to continue to provide food, litter and flea treatment for all three. A local rescue organization, Bless the Beasts, offered to help and even gave us discounted services. Carole Beaton took care of picking up the cats and boarded them the night before the surgery to make sure they were fasted properly. She also returned them to the family, all on her own time."
Imagine this patient facing her own fears about dying as she watched her kitten take its last breath. Imagine the helplessness the hospice nurse felt as she comforted this woman. The patient needed to know that hospice would be there for her when she died, not just because of the words they said, but because of their actions. By going above and beyond to care for the family pets, the hospice modeled the care they intend to give this patient and her family when they need it most, at the time of her death.