A Glimpse of Hope

Yesterday, Rachael, a nurse practitioner from palliative care, contacted me about my mother’s case. To put me at ease, she asked me personal questions about my mother. Where was she born? What does she like to do? Where did she work? Does she like to live in the U.S. or Vietnam?

I know for sure my mother wouldn’t want to live anywhere in the world but here. She believes the U.S. has the best healthcare system in the world. And yet, when she is at the most critical time of her life, the system fails her. I shared with Rachael about the experience we had in the past week and my concern that the medical team had given up on. She assured me that was not the intention and she set up a conference call to talk to my sisters and I about my mom’s condition.

In our conference, I emphasized the importance of understanding what my mother wanted instead of what she thought she wanted. For instance, she refused to take Remdesivir because the doctor told her through the interpreter that Remdesivir could be bad for her liver and kidney. She did not understand that if COVID took over her lung, her liver and kidney would be no good. She refused the ventilator because she didn’t realize that she would die with not enough oxygen. After I explained to her the outcome of her decisions, she told me exactly what she wanted.

Rachael finally understood where I was coming from. She heard me loud and clear. I was not making the decision for my mom. I was helping her to understand her choices so she can make the decision for herself.

At this point, the medical team understands that we want to go forward with the treatment. If her body continues to fight, let her fight for her life. If her body gives up, she will go. The medical team has done what they could for her.