"I really feel passionate that people should feel respected." AUMC nurses compile items to comfort patients at end of life

Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019
News 12 This Morning

Nurses at AUMC are helping patients feel more comfortable at the end of their lives. (Source: WRDW)

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Anyone who's ever sat with someone in their final moments knows how hard that time can be. That's why a nurse in one of Augusta University's ICUs created something to make a really hard time a little easier.

Walking the halls of AUMC is routine for those who work there, but for others, it can trigger feelings of grief and sadness. For some of them walking these halls was the worst day of their life.

"We can do amazing things for people in medicine, but we're all human and we all hit that point where it will be time," said Stephani Haug, a registered nurse at Augusta University Medical Center.

That time, the end of your life, can be hard to talk about. It's something registered nurses like Stephani see often.

"When I came here I realized there wasn't a whole lot of support for adult folks who would pass away in the hospital."

In a time where you may feel like you can't do anything, Stephani wanted to do something. That's how the "butterfly cart" came to be.

"I really feel passionate that people should feel respected, and they should be given love and dignity in that time frame."

The cart itself is unmistakable, painted in lavender with little blue butterflies -- that's a symbol the hospital uses toward the end of a patient's life.

"Fuzzy blankets, fuzzy socks," Stephani goes through some of the items she uses to help make the patient smile. She also puts in bibles, tissues, and keepsakes.

"We do card stock with handprints."

Stephani also prints out EKGs of heartbeats for families to take home, tied with a small ribbon,

It's A small way to support, something Stephani thinks should always be done, at the end of someone's life.

"They gave their families, they gave others of themselves their whole entire lives. I'd like to give that back a little bit before they say goodbye."

Just one of those carts cost about $1,500, so they are always looking for donations. If you want to help, contact the coordinator, Katie, at (706) 723-0942 to ask what they need most.

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