My name is Cory. I am a mom, a wife, a NaNa, and a critical care nurse that lives in Nashville, TN. I have found my calling in ER/Trauma/ICU. Each day I find myself experiencing life changing events and hope that by reading my posts, you will experience and feel some of what I do. If you read nothing else, please
take time to read "The Hardest Question Ever Asked". It's my very first posting.
And if for some reason you think you see your story here.....you don't. It's not about you or anyone you know. =)
My shift had just begun and I was the first admit spot. My patient was a 17 year old dancer named Jaime. She had been riding a motorcycle and hit a tree head on. She hit so hard her face had to be removed from the tree when lifeflight got there. Her facial fractures and arms and legs being fractured were the least of her problems. She had massive head injuries. She would not walk again much less dance ever again. The doctor's in trauma gave her less than a 30% chance to even survice. She had massive internal injuries to add to the mix.
I spent the rest of the night with the family explaining each alarm, each tube, each line that was placed and what each tube of blood we took from her was for. The first night passed and as time progressed, Jaime didn't. Her parents brought in pictures of her to put at the bedside because the person that was lying in the bed was unrecognizable. When we put the pictures up I was ASTOUNDED by her beauty. Noone could look at them without gasping. She was absolutely beautiful and so full of life, you could see it in her smile, in her actions in the pictures.
Weeks passed and we were able to wean her vent, her extremity fractures were fixed, her facial fractures were fixed and she continued to take baby steps. I was one of her primary nurses so when I was at work, I cared for her. To see the little bit of progress was heart warming but progress to a healthcare professional and progress to family are two very different things. The fact that Jaime would open her eyes on command was extraordinary to me. Finally I decided that in order for her to heal her lungs, she needed to be up in a neuro chair. She was still very sick but the doctors agreed to try it and her parents although anxious were very excited. On my last day of work for that week, I got Jaime up in a chair and she opened her eyes as she normally did. Her parents came to the bedside and I proceeded to do another assessment which we did every other hour on her. "blink your eyes"she did. "Stick out your tongue" she did. "Look at your Mom" she did. Up until that moment, she had been unable to move anything but her eyes. I asked her to squeeze my hands as I had hundreds of times over the past weeks. She squeezed my hands and I almost fainted. I put her mother's hand in hers and told her to squeeze again. She did. Everyone started crying and I called a resident to the bedside and told him what had happened. His response? "That's impossible, she'll never do anything more than open her eyes." So, we proceeded to repeat the events from moments before. There's nothing like a big boo ya for a smart assed resident.
Anyway, the whole point to this is never give up. Jaime was crowned homecoming queen and WALKED onto the field to receive her crown. She is now in college and working very hard to get her life back. Although much reconstructive surgery is still in her future, this little girl has her life back and her parents have their daughter back! Oh what a feeling!