Real Michiana: A life devoted to peaceful deaths
BREMEN, Ind. -- This edition of Real Michiana hits on a touchy topic--death. We're introducing a hospice nurse who is devoting her life to helping her patients pass peacefully.
Abby Eicher's grandma died in hospice care; she tried it out in nursing school and loved it.
With six years of nursing under her belt, the 28-year-old is devoting her career to making the end of life as beautiful as the beginning.
“She knows what she’s doing. She likes what she’s doing and makes a nice entrance," said 90-year-old Sid Phillips, one of Abby's patients.
“I come here for compliments. I learn a lot from my patients. I’m a way better nurse than I was when I started four years ago," said Abby.
“I just can’t picture myself doing anything else, because I just love it so much. I get to meet amazing people all the time and take care of them when they’re most in need I think," said Eicher.
She's been taking care of Sid, who is more than 60 years her senior, for about a year.
Sid has idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, for which there’s not a cure.
She says it’s basically scar tissue that’s in his lungs, and it continues to grow, eventually causing the lungs to fail.
“One thing I really love about hospice...we’re more comprehensive than I think the rest of the healthcare system is. I think we tend to take care of people as a whole," said Abby.
Needless to say, after a life filled with love for his wife and his Lord, Sid isn't afraid of the end.
“I don’t need to be fearful, because I’m born again, I’m saved. Joanne’s saved, so if we die, we go to heaven," said Sid.
“I would say definitely my goal for all my patients is that they would be able to peacefully transition to whatever lies ahead for them...that they would be able to be surrounded by love at the time that they pass. And sometimes I’m the person there with them at that time and sometimes not," said Abby.
She says, though, that death can be a beautiful thing.
"I know some people feel like death is horrible, but I would say I’ve seen some beautiful deaths, so I don’t think it’s always a horrible thing," said Abby.
To nominate someone for our next Real Michiana feature, please email Jess at email@example.com.