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Monday, November 5, 2007


On Halloween, I was fortunate to see one of my favorite patients who had, unfortunately, been admitted to the hospital with a reoccurring pneumonia. Tommy is a 45 year old Downs Syndrome patient that I have become very attached to. His sunny attitude is contagious and often he is found singing along with the soundtrack to the Sound of Music. Additionally, he hugs everybody and smiles all the time. (Need I say more?). He has been living at a group home for the disabled since he was 25 because his mother was worried that he was isolated living with her. She visits him daily and brings him lunch.

I was upset that my friend had been readmitted again but happy to see him. When I walked in the room, I found him sobbing. I asked him what was wrong. "I am missing Halloween, I was supposed to go trick or treating in the offices with my friends". My heart broke. Tommy had been watching the TV that someone else had put on in his room and heard the mention that it was Halloween. He would never have known had someone not turned the tv on. All they had to do was put a movie on his portable dvd player and he never would have known. (Short term memory is not his strong point...) He was devastated and inconsolable. I brought him candy, the nurse gave him her cat ears- it would not do. His friends weren't there and he couldn't go see his friends that work in the office. I kid you not when I say that he almost came home with me that night to go trick or treating..... I found out later that his nurse took him to every floor in the hospital trick or treating with devil horns that someone had given him. He couldn't eat the candy but he got to go trick or treating......


Mary Beth said...

It's the little actions like taking him trick-or-treating that make you guys (nurses) so special!

painted maypole said...

yes, nurses do rock. :)

you and my SIL would be great friends (she's a nurse in a long term care home for "kids" - some of whom are in the 20s, 30s or 40s)

the dragonfly said...

That was very sweet that Tommy got to go trick or treating. :)