Inspiring Stories

Patient Credits Furry Companions and Knitted Prayers as Part of 'Excellent' Care

Cancer is something he’s lived with for years. A hospital setting is something he’s all too familiar with. But a recent stay in the Acute Care for Elders (ACE) Unit at Methodist Hospital was anything but typical for one patient, who wishes to remain anonymous.

We’ll call him Bill. And Bill describes the care he received as “excellent.”

A quality care team

Despite countless interactions with doctors and nurses throughout his lifetime, Bill said his care team at Methodist will always stand out to him and his wife.

“Methodist Hospital should feel very proud of its staff,” Bill said. 

Of the many individuals who made Bill and his wife feel safe, comfortable and cared for, five were remembered for their unrivaled precision and patience. They are:

  • Emily Bachmeier, nursing assistant
  • Connie Conradson, nursing assistant
  • Nicole Cox, BSN, RN
  • Teaira Homan, nursing assistant
  • Tara Tipton, BSN, RN

“You can tell they all really like working with patients,” Bill’s wife said. “And they were always on it. They knew what to do and when to do it.”

Recreational therapy

Receiving quality medical care is something most hospital patients might expect, but Bill and his wife were blown away with the level of compassion and attention to detail they witnessed on the ACE Unit at Methodist.

“The recreational therapists brought in books, magazines and crosswords,” Bill’s wife said. “They even arranged for therapy dogs to come visit!”

“Oh, and I’m a dog lover,” Bill said. “I can’t tell you what a nice diversion that was.”

Bill explained how one of the dogs, a golden retriever named Maycee, just lay by his feet as if she was his. He described how Maycee loved to be petted, and how she seemed to love his presence just as much as he loved hers.

“She slobbered a lot,” Bill said as he laughed. “But it was just a really nice touch. Not only the dogs, but the dog owners who walked around with them. The fact that they, too, were taking time out of their lives to make people comfortable was really something.”

Spiritual care = excellent care

Furry friends were only part of the care that went so much further than medicine.

While the dogs certainly made Bill smile, one of the Methodist chaplains made his heart smile.

Crystall Williams, MA Ministry, reached out to the couple's church. After learning that Bill was in the hospital, church volunteers presented him with a prayer shawl that one of them had knitted and prayed over, blessing Bill with comfort, warmth and prayers of recovery.

Attached to the shawl, was this bible verse: “You created every part of me, knitting me in my Mother’s womb. For such handiwork, I praise you. Awesome this great wonder!” Psalm 139:13-14

“I just thought that was the neatest thing,” Bill’s wife said. “She didn’t have to do that. She didn’t have to reach out to them.”

“Having dealt with cancer for six years now, I’m kind of just always waiting for the other shoe to drop,” Bill said. “During my time here, I wasn’t thinking about any of it. I was thinking, ‘This is some really excellent care.’”

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About the Author

Jessica Gill, the External Communications Manager for Methodist Health System, is a former television news anchor and journalist. She has a passion for story-telling and illustrating Methodist’s Meaning of Care.

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