Emergency crew does everything it can
This letter is to advise your subscribers and the residents of Reno and surrounding areas of the quick response, caring and expertise of the emergency and care facilities available in the community.
The Regional Emergency Medical Service Authority (REMSA) arrived within minutes, administered necessary life sustaining measures to our cousin who collapsed of an apparent stroke and whisked her to the Washoe Medical Center.
Upon arrival at Washoe Med, our cousin stopped breathing. The quick response, expertise and caring of the emergency room personnel in applying life sustaining measures should be praised. Their follow-through on necessary tests and exams and calling in the on-duty neurosurgeon to diagnose and recommend further treatment should be praised.
The intensive care unit personnel were some of the most caring and compassionate people we have met. They became like family members, pulling together to comfort and steady one another. They explained in detail about the life-sustaining equipment our cousin was on and gave us detailed information while they performed tests to see if she could respond in any way. These tests were performed every four hours in our presence. They advised our cousin of every test that they were able to perform, even though there was no way of knowing if she could hear them. They handled her as though she was capable of feeling their touch. Their caring, compassion and allowing us whatever time we needed to arrive at a decision for our cousin can never be praised enough.
A family request for a second opinion by another neurosurgeon was met immediately. A conference to view the X-rays was provided, with detailed information on the brain stem hemorrhage, the effects of the hemorrhage and the after-effects that were to come. This was done with professionalism and compassion and concurred with the on-duty neurosurgeon’s diagnosis.
As a family unit, a decision had to be made whether to keep our cousin on life-sustaining equipment. (This she definitely would not want and had made a point of letting all know. She was a vital, caring and compassionate person who enjoyed helping, caring and giving to others. She enjoyed competing in bowling and bowled several times a week.) After weighing all information, watching the diagnostic tests performed on her every four hours and prayer in the beautiful chapel, we arrived at the decision that we had to let her go. To keep her alive mechanically was against her wishes and would be selfish on our parts.
We set the time for her departure and requested last rites be administered. The neurosurgeon and ICU nurse on duty told us approximately how long this might be. She passed away 20 minutes after the life-sustaining machinery was disengaged, which we had been told would probably happen. I myself did not stay to see this happen, but when told she had gone, felt uplifted and at peace. Whether this was our cousin’s spirit reassuring me that what we had decided was right, I’ll never know. I believe that she has been released to a place without pain and suffering, and will continue her bowling and caring for others there.
We are extremely grateful and thankful to the personnel of Washoe Med and REMSA.