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One year ago....

Posted

Specializes in Long term care; med-surg; critical care. Has 9 years experience.

One year ago today we lost our first COVID patient. It was 8:08am. I was holding his hand. His wife had left about 30minutes earlier, knowing that we couldn't do anything more and not wanting to watch the end through the glass doors. She stood outside and said her goodbyes. I told her we were playing some Marvin Gaye in the room, she had told me that was his favorite. I still remember it like something out of a lifetime movie. She was crying on one side of the door and I, for the first time in my career, was crying in the room, apologizing that I couldn't save her young husband. They had been married less than a year and had an infant daughter. He had spoken so proudly of both of them before he was intubated. Back then we were intubating when someone got to more than 5 liters nasal cannula. He was so scared. We were scared. He was not a small man, but he was in good general health. 

I often wonder if he had been admitted later in the year, would we have been able to save him? We have patients on high flow nasal cannula or BiPAP now and sometimes we're able to avoid intubation. His daughter would be over a year now, having lived the majority of her life without her father. She will have no memories of him. 

It was only the first of many horrible deaths. So tough for the patients, the families that couldn't be there, and those of us that tried to make sure that no patients died alone. Let's hope that whatever we face in the future, we don't go back to where we were then. Thanks for letting me share that.

CABGpatch_RN, BSN

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 20 years experience.

Thank you so much for sharing your memory.  I genuinely feel every bit of your voice.  💕