Grateful Patient and Family Program

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Michele DeMott

Have you ever needed to remain at a loved-one’s side regardless of time, duration, or outcome? If you have or witnessed someone who has, you know that some areas of the Medical Center are not necessarily designed to accommodate a family member when they need to stay with their loved one for an extended time. The following letter and gift is one woman’s attempt to make that time a little more comfortable.

“Dear EMMC Neurology Unit,

I am giving a reclining sleeper chair to the fifth floor neurology unit at Eastern Maine Medical in Bangor, Maine. That seems, I know, a little strange. But let me explain why.

My husband was admitted to the Eastern Maine Medical Center intensive care with a brain bleed. He stayed there for a day and then was moved to the neurology floor in the hospital.

I did not know what was going to happen, but I did know that I did not want to leave his side. The rooms on the neurology floor have two patient beds so there is not a large amount of space for family to stay in the room with their loved one.

I asked if they had a recliner that I could sleep in and they wheeled in what they had. It was older, uncomfortable and didn't work well but, in that dire situation, who cares? Eventually a more operational recliner became available but this one also had challenges. I really appreciate all that the nurses and staff did to provide me with the best solution they could come up with but there was an obvious need for a newer sleeper recliner for visiting family. I was just so grateful to be able to stay with my husband.

In the end, my husband only lived 14 days after his admittance. But each and every one of those 14 days was precious to me. I never wanted him left alone and that old recliner made it possible for me to have every minute possible with him.

That is why I recently contacted EMMC about donating the money to buy one reclining, sleeper chair for the fifth floor (Neurology). I know other families may experience the same terrifying, life-changing events that I did. I would like to do something to help comfort them in their time of need. My husband would have wanted that too. He always took loving care of me. I know he would want this gift to be a part of his legacy.

Again, I want to thank the nurses for the help and patient caring they offered me at that life-altering time of my life. I hope this chair will make it easier to offer other families the same kind of gentle support.”

Michele DeMott