Mount Carmel Home Care Helps Patient Attend Granddaughter's Wedding

Community-based Palliative Care: a successful innovation pilot that's now achieving results in the ministries



Linda Rebtoy, 72, had struggled since 2015 with a reoccurrence of ovarian cancer, but wanted to attend and be fully present at her granddaughter's wedding.

Karen Marcinko,RN
Mount Carmel Home Care

As the wedding day neared, Linda's condition worsened with increased pain, nausea and weakness. But she didn't want to consider hospice until after the big day. Mount Carmel Home Care RN Karen Marcinko assured Linda her Mount Carmel care team would empower her to achieve her goal.

Karen and her colleagues introduced Linda and her family to the Mount Carmel Community-Based Palliative Care team, which provides palliative care outside of the hospital setting – wherever patients call home. It focuses on quality of life, education and planning, symptom management and relief from life-limiting illnesses.

"We discussed Linda's condition, her goals and how palliative care could empower her to achieve them," Karen said.

Karen and Linda's oncologist and primary care physician managed Linda's symptoms with medication adjustment and education so Linda would feel awake and alert at the big event.

"Linda was the VIP at her granddaughter's wedding," Karen said. "'You could see and feel how happy and grateful she was to be there,' her husband told me."

After the special day, Linda and her family met with Mount Carmel Hospice and decided it was time to begin her hospice care. The Mount Carmel Hospice team ensured all of her wishes were met. Linda passed away peacefully, surrounded by her family.

"We get to know our patients and the families on a deep level," Karen said, after attending Linda's funeral. "We want the best for them, just as we would our own families. I really appreciate having such great colleagues at Mount Carmel with expertise in palliative care and hospice to call on to help our patients achieve their goals. We're truly a team working together. It's a unique, seamless experience for our patients.

This article originally appeared on the Trinity Health At Home website.