Making goodbyes a bit easier
Staff at the QEII hospital in Halifax are used to facilitating difficult goodbyes. But a new project is helping to make the goodbyes a little easier. And as Sarah Ritchie reports, one Cape Breton woman had a wish granted that she’ll never forget.
Fri, Nov 30: Staff at the QEII hospital in Halifax are used to facilitating difficult goodbyes. But a new project is helping to make the goodbyes a little easier. And as Sarah Ritchie reports, one Cape Breton woman had a wish granted that she'll never forget.
The intensive care unit is not where Nancy Michalik would spend one of the most important days of her life, although she conceded “it brings back a smile and gets me through the dark days”
In May, Nancy’s longtime boyfriend Kevin MacKenzie went to the QEII hospital in Halifax with back pain. His diagnosis was terminal.
“It was only 22 days from the time he had his back pain until the last day,” she said. “That ended seven-and-a-half years of lovely memories.
“He loved life. He lived life to the fullest. He was a prankster extraordinaire as all his friends would attest. He made me laugh every day.”
Hospital staff heard of Kevin’s dying wish to marry his longtime girlfriend and went out of their way to make it happen.
“They had flowers and music, and soft lighting and they thought of everything. Cake, candles, a toast,” says Nancy.
The QEII Foundation’s new Three Wishes Project helps patients like Kevin say goodbye to their loved ones.
“It also brings some comfort and closure to the healthcare team that’s caring for the patient at the time,” says QEII critical care physician Dr. Jennifer Hancock.
“In the end, it all left us with an indelible sense of making patients’ lives better, even if we can’t extend the length,” says QEII critical care physician Dr. Sarah McMullen.