Accompanying a Terminal Patient in his Final Days
Since January 2017, Tzu Chi Home Palliative Care team has been providing care for Chua Lye Hock, who is suffering from lung failure. The empathy shown by the nursing staff has softened the temperamental Chua, and she even became a close friend of Chua and his wife. In addition to providing nursing care, the nurse also did her best to fulfil his final wish.
Home Palliative Care Nurse: Just recite “Amitabha Buddha”, and your breath will flow freely after that.
(I will start crying when that happens…)
Nancy Tan, a nurse from Tzu Chi Home Palliative Care team gently comforts 79-year-old Chua Lye Hock, a terminal lung failure patient. He has started showing signs of deterioration recently, prompting Nancy to visit him more often.
Home Palliative Care Nurse, Nancy Tan :When I checked his breath just now, it only reached halfway and did not enter the lungs completely. His lungs have already hardened, which hinders his breathing. That’s why he is feeling so uncomfortable. (Is he afraid?) Yes, he is very afraid. He feels worried and anxious. I know he can’t let go yet.
Nancy has managed to soften Chua’s temper with her empathy and patience, after interacting with him for over a year.
Home Palliative Care Nurse, Nancy Tan:I saw him sitting on a reclining chair, so I suggested to give him a hospital bed, and he said okay. But when the bed was delivered to his home, he called me and started scolding me, asking why was the bed sent to him. He demanded that the bed be removed in half an hour. I almost fainted when I heard that. When I went to visit him the next day, he knew that he was wrong and apologised to me for losing his temper. I told him that it was okay, people who are ill tend to be bad tempered.
Home Palliative Care Patient, Chua Lye Hock :She has been looking after me for over a year. I’ll cry when I speak of her, because she has done so much for me. (No, not at all). She never gets angry with me, even when I don't take (medicine). (Mr. Chua, please don’t say that. I just want to let you relax and be happy.)
Nancy Tan is not only a home care nurse; she has also become a close friend of Mr. and Mrs. Chua.
Chua Lye Hock’s wife, Mook Hiam Huay :He is very happy when you guys come and visit him. Nancy always helps me.
(How does she help you?) She always speaks kind words to me.
Home Palliative Care Nurse, Nancy Tan:I hope to accompany Mr. Chua in the final journey of his life. This is my mission as a palliative care nurse.
Chua Lye Hock：You must always come and visit me.