Who: Cady Latshaw, a registered nurse in the intensive care unit at WellSpan Good Samaritan Hospital, who likes doing artwork. She has been using chalk markers to decorate the glass walls of ICU rooms with personalized images for patients, such as a sea turtle for a beach lover or a caterpillar for a patient who was missing a comforting plush toy.
What: Cady helped to care for Marlene Yordy, a COVID-19 patient who had been placed on a ventilator. She knew that Marlene had been a music teacher, played piano at her church, played piano daily at home, and really loved music.
Marlene’s husband of 59 years, Ron, had heard that sedated patients can still hear and so daily played music in his wife’s room, including a particular tape of Elvis Presley music. Cady noticed that Marlene’s 78th birthday was coming up and decided to create a special surprise for the couple, drawing a picture of Elvis on the glass wall of Marlene’s room.
Ron was so touched by this gesture, and the care that Marlene received, that he sent a card to the entire ICU unit team, writing, “Life is measured by the way we live, the way we serve and the way we give. I want all of you to know how Marlene’s family appreciates all of the above.”
Words to live by: “I want people to know that our work goes beyond what we do, the physical tasks like giving medicines and taking vitals and assessing patients,” Cady says. “We’re here for the long haul, to give patients compassionate and caring support. In this time right now, to have something that brightens up your day, you just have to grab it and hold onto it.”