2009-10-16 / Letters

Angelo's Last Letter

Dear Editor,

Although it is with great sadness that I write this letter, I would be remiss if I didn't speak up about the excellent medical care and very special personal care that my husband, Angelo, received during his last days of his life at Peninsula Hospital Center. Angelo and I were married for 65 years, he loved life, he loved political discussions and he loved Rockaway and all it has to offer and I know that it would be his wish to have a final letter appear in The Wave for him.

From the time Angelo was admitted to Peninsula Hospital through the emergency department, he was treated with care and concern. The physicians and nurses in the ED were wonderful and kind and in spite of how busy they were, took the time to make sure we were both comfortable as I didn't leave his side. It was eventually determined that he needed to have surgery and once again, the surgeon, Dr. Howard Sussman and our personal physician, Dr. Martin Grossman, were patient and kind as they explained the procedure necessary. They were very honest and forthright - and we had a lot of questions. Following his surgery, Angelo was in ICU where once again, the compassion and skill of the nursing staff was impossible to miss. Eunmi Kim, RN, the Director of Critical Care Nursing, was always there for us to explain or comfort us once we realized the diagnosis was not what we had hoped for. Even Robert Levine, the President and CEO of the hospital, stopped to talk to my family in the hallway - taking time out from his busy day for us. During Angelo's stay, Liz Sulik, the Director of Public Affairs, made a couple of special trips to see us each day to bring a newspaper, discuss a bit of politics with Angelo, hear a little about our dog's antics or just bring some conversation or laughter our way to get our minds off the medical issues at hand. Liz was special to us and we both felt a close connection to her both inside and outside the hospital.

When we made the decision to admit Angelo to the inpatient hospice unit in the hospital, it was a difficult one for our family. We didn't know exactly what to expect and all we knew was that we didn't want Angelo to suffer and that our family needed to be close together. I didn't know anything about hospice care, really, but it only took a few moments to realize that the care provided in the Butterflies by the Sea, Eisenstadt Hospice Care was both patient and family centered. All we had to do was concentrate on Angelo and each other - everything else was done for us. I am sure that everyone who has experienced the staff in the hospice care at PHC says the same… they are warm, caring and empathetic individuals who enfold you in their care.

We lost Angelo and my life will never be the same without him but throughout those last few days as I privately prayed, remembered and celebrated our many years together, I know I am grateful for the friendships and care that surrounded us at Peninsula Hospital and throughout the community. My family and I thank everyone sincerely for their kindnesses and genuine concern. We felt it and it helped us.

Angelo would have said "thank you", too.

JOSEPHINE GUARINO

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