Doctors share heartbreaking names many patients call out before dying
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Doctors have shared the heartbreaking realities of what it's like in a person's final moments, including the things they say and the names they call out in their last few breaths.
Those working in end-of-life care have perhaps one of life's biggest responsibilities of making sure those in their final days are in as much comfort as possible and are treated with the utmost respect.
From listening to life stories, giving gentle words of encouragement, to making sure that your patient in palliative care is comfortable - there are so many ways in which doctors and nurses are able to provide this special kind of support.
But one thing you may not know or be prepared for is that these doctors are also present to hear their patient’s last words, and some may surprise you.
Two palliative care doctors have recently revealed what patients will often say to their carers before they die and it’s truly heartbreaking.
Instead of what we may think about from what has been portrayed on hospital shows or TV dramas, there are real doctors and healthcare workers who have different experiences with what their patients will say before they go.
For example, one end of life carer shared how her patients have had regrets they wished to express before they passed away.
Hospice nurse Julie McFadden, from Los Angeles, California, told the Daily Mail that many patients wish that they hadn’t worked their days away, and that they mention their family members before they slip away.
Unlike what we see in Hollywood, where the person will slip away silently after one long draw of breath, nurse McFadden dispelled those rumours.
"It's not usually at their last breath," she said. "A lot of people think it's like the movies — a dramatic, last proclamation of something they've always regretted or something they always wanted everyone to know. It's not really like that."
Instead, she said that they very often will admit their dying regrets, which come in the form of dieting or wasting time to worry about their looks.
"We take a lot of things for granted — being able to see being able to eat, swallow, walk, live completely pain free," McFadden explained. "A lot of people say they didn't appreciate that and they wish they would have."
Many of those she's listened to have also shared their regret of 'throwing away precious time'.
McFadden then shared the most intimate detail of these final moments - the names people call out: "A lot of people will say their parents' names - or they'll say 'mum' or 'dad', or the name of an ex-husband who is dead already.
"If they do say something close to death, it's usually brief and short and quiet. It's hard to actually talk."
On the other hand, another healthcare worker also told the Daily Mail that she's experienced patients in the final moments who, instead of expressing regret, have simply accepted their impending passing and have 'no regrets'.
Dr Mina Chang, a physician and expert from the San Francisco Bay Area, said: "Being with and supporting patients toward the end of their life is a very special moment. They invite you into their journey even as this life comes to an end."
Many of her patients have also insisted they don't have any regrets, with her explaining: "They will sometimes say words like 'I am ready', or 'I have no regrets' - and we often support the relationships between patients and their loved ones so we might hear words such as 'Thank you', 'I love you', 'Please forgive me', or 'Good-bye'."
While these memorable last words and moments truly are heart-wrenching, they are a way to show others what really matters in life, and how making memories and living life to its fullest is truly the most important thing.
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