We hear the expression “famous last words” all the time, right? It’s always interesting to learn what people said before they passed on to the other side.
Well if you want to laugh, cry, and be creeped out, check out what these 25 AskReddit users had to say about the extraordinary last words they heard while working in hospitals. Prepare to be moved!
1. Well Fuck You, Too
“Cardiac ICU: Had a gentleman who was DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) on comfort care. He was demented and was cursing like a sailor. He seemed to have moments of clarity and would ask to see his brothers (who were both passed).
After a particularly worrisome heart rhythm, he went back into a Sinus tachycardia and looked me in my eyes and said ‘Hey, whats your name?’
‘What do you do here?’
‘I’m a nurse.’ After this, he was quiet for some time… then he said…
And then he died about 20 minutes later.”
2. In Need Of Directions
“‘But I don’t know how to get there’…Grandpa in hospice. Hadn’t spoken in days. Died about 2 hours later.”
3. That Will Stay With You
“I work in a cardiac ICU. We had a patient who had a pulmonary artery rupture (a rare, but known complication of a Swan-Ganz catheter). One minute he was joking around with us and the next bright red blood was spewing out of his mouth. His last words before he died were ‘why is this happening to me?’ It still haunts me years later.”
4. So Sweet
“‘Get home safe, little one.’ It wasn’t what he said – he said the same thing to me any time I had him as a patient for the evening. It was how he said it. He gave me this look and pause like he knew. The DNR’s in my experience, always know when it’s time. It’s creepy.”
5. Favorite Patient
“I’m a nurse and was previously working at an assisted living community on the dementia/Alzheimer’s unit. My very favorite patient had been declining pretty steadily so I was checking on him very frequently. We would have long chats and joke around with each other, but in the last two weeks of his life, he stopped talking completely and didn’t really acknowledge conversation directed at him at all.
I finished my medication rounds for the evening and went to see him before I left. I told him I was leaving for the night and that I’d see him the following day, and he looked me in the eyes and smiled SO genuinely and said, ‘You look like an angel.’ I thought it was so sweet because he had not seemed lucid in weeks.
He died the next morning. It really messed with me.”
“My grandfather on his deathbed said ‘they have no eyes,’ still give me chills.”
“‘You’re not gonna believe this…’
Talk about a cliffhanger. Can’t wait for season 2 of Old Man With Heart Failure.”
8. Comfy Cozy
“Nurse here – had a patient come into the ER with shortness of breath. He started deteriorating in the ER, and then quite rapidly on the transport up the ICU. We got him wheeled into his room, replaced the ER lines and tubes with our own, and transferred him from the transport stretcher to his ICU bed.
He actually did most of the transfer himself. He didn’t say anything, but just before he died he pleasantly adjusted his own pillow, laid his head down, and then his eyes went blank. This man just made himself comfortable before laying down to die.”
9. Wish I Knew Who He Was Talking About
“I found one of my “comfort measures only” patients standing at the side of his bed. It surprised me because he had been mostly unresponsive during my shift. I helped him back into bed and he asked me why all these people were in his room. He suddenly became quite again and I noticed he wasn’t breathing.
He was a DNR so there wasn’t anything to do to try to bring him back. Looking back he may have been talking about me and the CNA that was helping me get him back into bed, but who knows what or who he was seeing the last minutes of his life. Still creeps me out a little when I think about it.”
10. How Did She Know?
“Back when I was a CNA this one resident fell off a bike for exercise in PT and seized, then came to and became lucid and said ‘I think I’m dying,’ but everyone in the room assured her that wasn’t going to happen, she seized up and was dead within minutes.”
11. How Thoughtful
“Dad had MS. He’d had it since he was 18. Diagnosed at 20, married my mom at 24, had me at 29, died 15 days short of 45. Six months before that, he was put on hospice. He and Mom were discussing funeral arrangements, and my mom jokingly said, ‘You know Tim, the best thing you could do would be to die on a Wednesday. That way we can have the body prepared on Thursday, the viewing on Friday, and the memorial on Saturday, so more people could come.’
The morning we got the call that it was time, my mom, two sisters, and I were about five minutes too late. After we said our goodbyes, the nurse pulled my mom aside and asked if that day had any significance. It’s not even 6 am yet, so Mom doesn’t even know what day it IS much less if it’s important. The nurse tells her it’s May 21st. No… nothing is coming to mind.
The nurse told her that the previous day he kept asking what day it was and they’d tell him it was the 20th. He’d look irritated but accept it. That morning, he asked what day it was, and they said, ‘It’s Wednesday, May 21st.’ He smiled, squeezed his favorite nurse’s hand, and was gone almost immediately.
It was Memorial Day weekend, and we did just as he and Mom had planned. And despite many friends being out of town for the holiday, we had over 250 people show up at the memorial service, overflowing the tiny church more than it had ever been filled. To his dying day, he was trying to make things easier for our family. I miss him.”
12. Too Real
“DNR patient was on comfort care. Was on a high dose of morphine and hallucinating. She would alternate between grasping for things not there and trying to climb out of bed. She was too unsteady to walk so my job was to sit in the room and make sure she was safe. She tried to get up and I went to ask her what she needed. She grabbed my arm and pulled me down towards her face and said, very angrily, ‘kill me.’ That one fucked with me for awhile.”
13. Good Horsey
“Checked in on a patient before the end of my shift and she was in good spirits, had been joking with me the whole time. Her condition was tenuous (new trach) but she had been positive throughout. I asked how she was doing and she replied by singing ‘The old gray mare ain’t what she used to be’ and wished me a good night.
I came in the next morning and she had coded and died overnight.”