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Compassionate care

  • Location: Spokane,
In 2001, I graduated nursing school, and married the love of my life, Andrea. Andrea had cystic fibrosis; a genetic condition that affects the sodium chloride balance in the cells. For 10 years I worked between cardiac telemetry and coordinating cardiovascular clinical studies. In 2011, I left nursing to take a pastoral role in my church. In 2016, Andrea’s health began to deteriorate; slowly at first until she went on chronic oxygen therapy in 2019. I said my final goodbye to her on April 22, 2022 at 3:50 in the afternoon as I stood by her side, brushing her hair as she took her final breath. I learned a lot of what it means to live with a chronic and debilitating illness: the loss of control, the loss of identity, what it’s like to be on the receiving end of a bad diagnosis and a poor prognosis. It gave me a level of understanding and compassion I couldn’t have known otherwise. 14 months after Andrea passed, I went back into nursing with a promise to her that I would carry forward the care, understanding, and compassion I learned while I cared for her…and to never lose it. These are tools I now carry with me everyday, and ensure that every patient I encounter receives from me.