I am writing to praise the care given to my grandfather, Elmer D. Tatum, who was a patient in ICU from Sunday, August 7 - Saturday, August 13, 2011. Though he passed away, the level of care given to him by the nursing staff was outstanding. From their interaction with the family to the administering of medical treatment, we found their service to be exemplary. Of particular note was Jeanne Sonnier, who is the true impetus behind this letter. She was the nurse on his final day, and we could not have asked for a better caregiver. By this time, we had realized that all treatment options had been exhausted and that he would not be coming home with us. This was a heartbreaking and difficult day for the family, particularly for my grandmother as the 13th was the day of their 51st wedding anniversary. In addition to her high level of competence as an RN, Jeanne was comforting, compassionate, and patient. She answered all of our questions with sympathy, laughed and cried with us, and even stayed late after her shift had ended to continue to spend time with the family after he had passed. She allowed us ample time with him so we could say our goodbyes, a priceless gift. Together these things made a terribly sad day for our family a little easier. I believe Jeanne is a person who has found her true calling. Medical care should never be cold or impersonal, and Jeanne is anything but. I personally believe she was exactly where she was supposed to be on that day, hand chosen by God to make my grandfather as much as possible and to help ease our grief in any way possible. The care, both medical and personal, shown by Jeanne and the rest of the ICU nursing staff warranted written acknowledgement and I hope you will find a way to recognize them for their level of excellence.
Danielle M. Tatum, PhD Department of Biochemistry School of Medicine Tulane University New Orleans, La 70112