Happy Together at Home
The way Ed Hill looks at his wife Velma, you might think they were newlyweds. But their playful teasing resonates with a deeper, richer love. The kind you find only after 63 years of marriage. So when recovery from a complicated hip surgery took Velma out of commission and into GardenVillage’s rehabilitation program, Ed, not surprisingly, spent every possible moment by her side. Luckily, at Garden Village, family involvement isn’t just permitted it’s encouraged. Kim Games, RN, CRRN, Assistant Director of Nursing atGarden Village says, “Ed was awesome. I don’t think Velma would have recovered as quickly if she didn’t have him supporting her.”Velma needed a lot of care getting in and out of bed, bathing and dressing. And while she was atGarden Village recovering, Ed was at Garden Village learning. They trained him to transfer her from a bed or chair, to help her stand, walk and dress. When Velma was ready to go home, Home Health Care stepped in to help with more difficult tasks like showering. And now at home, a visit from a physical therapist three times a week has helped her to stand for a short time and walk short distances.Happy together at home, Ed’s taken over the cooking while Velma recuperates. And while he admits his specialty is heating up a TV dinner, Velma doesn’t seem to mind. As anyone can see, they’re still very much in love. And when you’re in love, all food tastes fine.
Intense Love, Intensive Care
Lana Hamley reaches into the bassinette and lifts the newborn out, one hand supporting the baby’s bottom, the other gently cradling her tiny head. The girl, almost four pounds, fusses briefly, but quickly calms at the sound of the RN’s voice and her familiar touch. “She’s like a little baby doll,” smiles Lana. “I never got through playing with dolls.”Lana’s been with Memorial’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for 16 years. Although she helps save little lives every day, Lana insists it’s the babies and their families that saved her life. Her first child was born premature and faced open-heart surgery at age four. Her second child was diagnosed with leukemia at two and passed away five years later. After the death of her daughter, “I was lost,” says Lana. “This gives my life purpose again.”Lana cares for the hospital’s smallest, most precious patients – babies born premature or too sick to go home. “It takes a group of strong, protective nurses to give them their voice,” says Lana. Those intensely protective feelings are what give Lana and the other NICU nurses the nickname “mother bears.” “It’s our reputation in the hospital,” Lana explains, “because we’re so protective.”Although every ending isn’t happy, Lana finds her own loss helps her to identify and connect with grieving parents. “I’ve lived through that,” she says, “I’m able to care for them during a time when they think no one understands…I feel their pain.”As the miracle of saving little lives goes on day after day, Lana admits that she loves what she does. “I love my job. I love the babies. I love the families… I don’t even consider it a job. It’s my life.”She smiles again with a motherly-kind-of-love and snuggles the tiny infant, clearly attached to the child. “How could you not love this?” she asks.