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Heartland Hospice Patient Receives Last Wish to Be at Home With His Dog

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Heartland Hospice serving Raleigh-Durham, a division of ProMedica, Registered Nurse, Natalie Turrone, tells about a patient whose last wish was to get home and be with his dog:

"Hospice is such a gift for the patient and for their family, friends and acquaintances. We were contacted about a patient at UNC REX Hospital in Raleigh, North Carolina. Upon arrival to the patient's room, we learned the hospital nursing staff believed he might not be able to make it home. His last wish was to be at home with his dog, Gracie. The patient had end stage cancer and Heartland Hospice was contacted with just enough time for the very difficult decisions to be made. Our hospice team was at his bedside within an hour, just in time to discuss with the patient, his wife and children what Heartland Hospice services at home 'looked like.'

When we asked if they wanted to get him home right now, they all lit up and responded a resounding, 'YES!' Our job is so rewarding when we see the whole body relax and the facial expressions from our patient and families that scream, 'THANK YOU' with such appreciation and gratitude that no words need to be spoken. Within two hours of meeting the patient and his family, Heartland had the equipment ordered and in his home, his comfort medications ordered and filled at UNC REX Hospital and had transportation arranged. We had the patient home and with Gracie within an hour.

In addition, our admission nurse was in the home with the patient within two hours of arrival. The patient and his family were super thankful and grateful for Heartland's care and attention. The patient was home about five hours before passing away that evening. Five hours with his family and with his dog! Five hours of his end-of-life wishes coming true thanks to Heartland Hospice. Had we not advocated for his wishes and ensured the hospital we could coordinate everything, he would not have made it home."