“Is it true? Could I really be dying? How could I possibly be dying – I don’t feel that bad. It cannot be true . . . can it?”
Madison Cupples and Clayton Byrd had a patient who had been in the hospital for a few days and had just received a devastating diagnosis. She had a disease that was going to take her life. Not in a few years, months or weeks. The time she had left could be counted in mere hours. Even though she was relatively young and alert with almost normal vital signs, nothing could change the rapid course of her disease. Time – and life – were quickly running out.
As the patient and her family struggled to believe and accept what was happening, Madison was very attentive to them, addressing their emotional needs and the patient’s medical needs with great compassion. She did it all with a comforting smile and a wonderful attitude. When Clayton arrived to take care of this patient on the night shift, Madison decided not to go home. Instead, she stayed for several hours longer, helping out on the floor so that Clayton could spend more time with the patient.
Clayton had cared for the patient the previous evening, and was committed to doing all he could to help both the patient and her family. He spent a good deal of time providing emotional support and helping the patient to make calls to family members so that they could say their final goodbyes. At that point, the patient’s disease had progressed and she was no longer able to use her own hands to make the calls herself. Clayton kept the doctor frequently updated on the patient, and worked with him to keep her as comfortable as possible while her condition deteriorated. Most of all, Clayton provided the emotional support this patient and her family needed, just as Madison had done all through the day. In the early morning hours, with family and caring staff supporting her, the patient passed away.
The patient’s doctor told us, “Madison’s and Clayton’s emotional resilience brought the patient and her family comfort, and helped to reassure them that they were in good hands at Jackson General. Both Madison and Clayton are to be commended for the comfort they provided this patient in her short, final hours, as well as for the support they offered her family. They are both truly remarkable, and I hope that I have the honor of having them care for my patients in the future.” Thank you, Madison and Clayton, for what could mean more than to be comforted and cared for as earthly life fades away. . .