Wonder nurse: Kathy Gavini

Broad Reach Hospice

(Richard Schultz)
May 14, 2009
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I work with the best nurses on the Cape. But one stands out as Wonder Nurse. Her name is Kathy Gavini and she works for our Hospice organization. I have worked with Kathy for many years and have witnessed her go above and beyond to help her patients and their families to receive the best care and support possible. Kathy has a great deal of patience, she spends time educating families on what to expect during each stage of the dying process, and is there for them if they need her.

We had a patient with breast cancer; she wanted to die in her home, in her own bed. She had a beautiful king size, four poster, canopy bed, which was higher from the ground than your standard bed. Kathy promised this woman she would have her wish. Our patient's daughter was having a very difficult time with her mother dying; she didn't want to be alone with her and told us she could not help with her care or be present when she was dying. But in the weeks before her mother's death, the daughter became more comfortable with all that was happening. It took a lot of coaching from the team and Kathy's magic to turn this into a very special time for mother and daughter. The two would lie in the huge bed together and reminisce, laugh, and cry. It was beautiful for us to all witness this connection. Kathy would always schedule her visits when I was with this patient to help me with her care. We would climb onto this bed and make her beautiful and comfortable. Our patient would laugh at us despite her growing weakness.

The day came and Kathy called me to come to the house. Our patient died with her daughter in bed with her and all of us at her side. The daughter helped us with her mother's care after her death. The experience was so positive for the daughter. These are very personal memories she will hold onto during her grieving. Wonder Nurse Kathy did her magic again.

-Nominated by Susan Henderson, CNA