Despite the ICU team's interventions, Nita's health continued to deteriorate and Heather and her husband began what typically is a 16-hour trip to be at her bedside. They drove through a terrible snow storm and creeping their way through the Colorado mountains finally made it to St. Teresa 22 hours later.
"I was able to sit with my mom (and sleep there) over the next two days," she wrote in an email to hospital leadership.
From the ICU nurses to the patient care techs to the respiratory therapists, everyone they encountered that weekend and on the Monday that would end up being Nita's last were "so loving with my mom."
Kyle Stilwell, RN, who took care of Nita before and during her time in the ICU, shared with her how sweet her mother was to him. "I loved that because even in the painful situation she was in, she was still so loving."
Kaylee Laham, RN, who as the family shared their heartbreak with her, told them, “I am an advocate for your mom. I am an advocate for you. Whatever you need, we are here to help be that voice.” It was clear, says Heather, that she truly meant that.
Heather also noted the care provided by Hannah Clouse, RN, who was with the family as they said their final goodbyes.
"We sang her favorite hymn, 'How Great Thou Art,' as she quietly took her last breaths. She was surrounded by loved ones as she went quietly home to our loving Heavenly Father, and we were surrounded by those who showed genuine care as we said goodbye to our mother and grandmother," wrote Heather.
"I will forever be grateful to the staff at St. Teresa for the gentleness, professionalism, and KNOWLEDGE that they have and showed to our family while we were there...They really do make a difference in people's lives. A huge difference."