COVID-19 victim’s family thanks “Angels” at Mercy Hospital Lebanon
Pattie Johnson is thanking the nurses who cared for her father
LEBANON, Mo. (KY3) - A woman who now lives in Florida is calling the staff and the nurses at Mercy Hospital Lebanon, “Angels on Earth.” Pattie Johnson posted her thank you on Facebook and KY3′s Paul Adler talked to her about the compassion she felt from miles away.
“He and my mom had a 48-year marriage before she passed away,” reflected Pattie Johnson.
Her dad, Jerry Page, did some preaching, played some guitar and worked as a diesel mechanic. He produced a daughter and sons too who loved him. And, they noticed something not quite right in early November.
“He just wasn’t himself. He was not feeling well. He was kinda slurring his words. He was not sounding his normal self,” recalled Pattie.
Pattie’s brother took her dad to Mercy Hospital in Lebanon. Pattie couldn’t do it because she lives in Florida now. But, Pattie says the nurses helped melt away the miles.
“The level of compassion and respect they gave me dad and us on the other end of the phone was incredible. They made me feel like I was the only patient’s family member,” said Pattie.
“I do remember him, very much so,” reflected Mercy Hospital Nurse Jane Hughes.
Jane is one of a trio of nurses Pattie calls Angels.
“We always remember this is somebody’s father, mother, brother,” said Jane.
In just a couple days, COVID-19 took Jerry from bad to worse. And, another nurse held Jerry’s hand and a phone while his daughter said goodbye.
“If it wasn’t for them, I would never have heard those last words my dad spoke to me. His words were, I love you baby. I got to hear those for the last time by Mike holding that phone,” said a grateful Pattie.
“I can only imagine how hard it is for the families not to be there with their loved ones. We do our best as staff members to hold our patient’s hands and provide them with the love and care they would get from their families...,” replied Jane when asked about the emotional weight of helping people say goodbye.
“I don’t know how they do it. I really don’t,” said an amazed Pattie. “They are treating our loves ones as their loved ones and they are so special.”
Pattie says those nurses changed her life forever and she can never thank them enough.
One note, Mercy tells us the COVID-19 visitor restrictions do get lifted at the end of life. But, we’re told this is unfortunately a pretty common story. People who don’t live here anymore, can’t get back here before their loved ones pass away. And if the nurses didn’t go above and beyond, those loved ones would never get to say goodbye.
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