ecently, an elderly couple was traveling through Beeville; returning to Iowa after spending the winter in Texas. The wife became seriously ill, and the two came to our hospital through the Emergency Room. Despite the best efforts of our staff, she failed to respond to treatment and died within hours of being admitted.
The husband was suddenly alone, with no family nearby. He was in shock from losing his wife and was at a loss for words. He was unsure what he should do next. Lonely and depressed, he sat in the room with his wife’s body. He desperately needed help.
Our Chaplain, Sister Delia M. Herrera, MCDP, was attending meetings out of town. So Rebecca Pena, a Patient Representative, and I offered our assistance.
When we went into the room, our hearts went out to the husband, and we asked him if he would like to pray with us at his wife’s bedside. We then offered to help make transportation arrangements for his wife’s body and contacted family members in Iowa.
We soon discovered that this poor gentleman was going to have to wait two days before his son could arrive to help him. Rebecca and I vowed that one of us would be at his side throughout those two days, making sure that he had support until family members could arrive.
We offered comfort, care, companionship, and meals to make his time here less lonely and confusing, and he began the healing process by sharing stories of his wife and their times together.
When the gentleman’s son arrived to help him return home, he made it a point to say thank you to the Associates in the Emergency Room, on the Medical-Surgery Pediatrics floor, and to our Administrator and Assistant Administrator.
Before the gentleman left, he came to tell me how he could not believe how hospitable and caring the hospital staff were and how accepted he felt.
He continues to keep in touch with us through periodic phone calls. It is always a pleasure to talk with him and to know that he is doing well.
Mary Wessels, Social Worker
CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Beeville