I could never work in the healthcare field for many reasons, but one of the big ones is that I wouldn’t be able to deal with people passing away all the time.
So let’s all acknowledge that men and women who work in that field do amazing work each and every day and they have to deal with a lot of stressful and emotional situations.
In this article, AskReddit users who work in the healthcare field share stories about the haunting last words they heard from patients.
1. Deep sadness.
“Was an EMT-B on the 911 unit that got a call about a hit and run. Cops were on scene first. The area of the city I worked in was rough.
Some guy and his gf had got into a fight in the parking lot. It ended with the guy running over his gf, then backing up over her. Needless to say, she wasn’t doing well, and her vitals were tanking. We loaded her up, with a fireman and police officer joined with us in the back of the rig.
She kept mumbling “tell my mom. Please tell my mom.” and naturally I figured it was her asking us to let her mom know she was hurt. The hospital takes care of that and I put it out of my mind rather quick as we were working over her. She flatlined before we arrived. They did not get her back.
My partner was finishing up her paperwork and we turned to give her wallet back to the staff. The nurse on duty, who I knew pretty well, was reading a dirty piece of paper. She looked disgusted. When I asked what was up she simply put the piece of paperwork down. It was a letter that was picked up near her purse on scene. She had gotten accepted into a college.
I realized then that in the ambulance, she was asking us to tell her mom she got into college.
That is a deep sadness I have never forgotten.”
“So this happened a couple of years ago. We had an ex-gang guy who was dying of cancer and he confessed that he was the gang hit-man for many years. He wanted to confess to all the k**lings and show the police where the bodies are buried.
He would get closure knowing that the surviving families of his victims find out where they are buried. We had to get the hospital legal team involved cause we had no policies to deal with that. Cops got involved and the dude confessed to gang murders from decades ago.”
3. I’m coming.
“I had a patient whose memory had been fading for years. It’s weird, right before a patient d**s, sometimes they’ll sudden be doing a lot better.
Anyway, he thought I was his late wife. I played along and just listened to him while he recalled his engagement, his wedding, his first childbirth, and a few other memories for me.
At one point, he says “Oh! Irene, there you are! Sorry, you know my eyes aren’t as good as they used to be. Well, thank you for listening to an old man tell his stories. I hope you have great stories to tell one day too. I’m coming, Irene.”
And then he passed. He was my first long-time patient.”
“I had to tell my grandmother that dialysis would only give her another week or so to live and it was her choice to try or not.
She was in and out of consciousness at that point and was in a clear state for the moment. She asked, “will I d**?”I said, “yes.” She looked me in the eye and smiled just a little and said, “sometimes you gotta do what you don’t want to do.” She closed her eyes, squeezed my hand and slept until she passed a day later.
When things get hard, I always hear her say, “sometimes you gotta do what you don’t want to do.””
“About 2 minutes before my grandma passed she had clarity (she’d suffered from severe dementia for years).
She opened her eyes and said, “ I found Jack.” (My grandpa who’d d**d eight years prior). She said they were at a ball with their friends.
Then she said, “I’ve gotta go, he asked me to dance.” Then she was gone”
6. Words of wisdom.
“While in hospice my grandma said to me
“A, there are a great many things in this world worse than dying.”
Then talked about how lucky she was to have lived the life she did.
I had never looked at d**th like that before and that conversation truly changed me and my outlook. She was the most wonderful person.”
7. Going home.
““I’m going home.”
I worked as a nurse’s aide in a nursing home, for just 2 months, brand new. This gentleman was assigned to my caseload the entire time I had worked there, and was on Hospice the whole time, but had seemed to be doing well.
This night, I was working with him and he seemed off. I talked to him and explained what I was doing to care for him, but he just sounded so angry and confused. I was new to this, so I didn’t know quite what to do, so I pressed on.
He got so freaked out, he took his oxygen tubing and tried to wrap it around my throat to strangle me. I got away, told the nurse, and was told that confusion and aggression were common when people were dying, he needed his care regardless.
I went to care for him again a few hours later, and he looked so docile, so defeated. His eyes filled with tears as he looked at me, and told me, “I’m real sorry for what I did earlier, ma’am, that’s not who I am. I’m so sorry.”
I told him it was okay, and that I just wanted to make him comfortable. He thanked me, and said the line, “I’m going home.” He just kept repeating it, and sounded so urgent. “I’m going home. I’m going home. I’m going home.” I thought he was still confused…
… he passed away 1 1/2 hours later, right after my shift was over. I was the one to hear his last words. Upon learning that he passed away, I immediately thought of those last words. Sticks with me to this day. This was almost 12 years ago, and I don’t think I’ll ever forget.”
8. A tough one.
“I’ve had multiple people begging for their mothers.
It made me even more sad because it was people well into their 80s/90s, whose mothers were obviously no longer around.”
9. Don’t worry.
“Many moons ago when I was a nursing student, a man in his 40s was lying on his d**thbed from terminal cancer, his sobbing wife lying in bed next to him.
He looked at his wife, using the last bit of energy he had to gently wipe away her tears and stroke her cheek.
He took off his oxygen mask and said “don’t worry love, don’t be afraid. It’s just d**th” and passed shortly after.”
“From when I worked in private practice. Had a patient get diagnosed with a moderately aggressive–but treatable– throat cancer.
We tried everything we could think of to get him to consider treatment. He refused any type of treatment, so after about 3 months, his wife had their two adult sons basically carry him into the office at 4:50 pm on a Friday afternoon. I was the only nurse in the building. I got him into an exam room.
Dude was completely gray, gaunt, and you could hear how close the end was every time he breathed. It wasn’t exactly a d**th rattle, but you just knew his lungs were full of fluid.
His sons sit him in a chair and he starts to slide out. The room was too small to put him on the floor and the exam table was too high to lift him up on it. I stood between his legs and held him upright in the chair while I told the sons to go get the doctor, told the wife to call 911.
We all knew nothing was going to keep the man alive much longer. He patted the side of my leg–it was the most he could move–and whispered, “I should have listened to you all. I don’t want to d**.” He lost consciousness and all I could do was just keep him from sliding out of the chair until the EMTs got there.
After the ambulance got him to the hospital, he lasted about 4 hours.”
11. Confession time.
“When I was 16 I worked as a dietary aide in a pretty nice nursing home. There was this one older gentleman that I became pretty good friends with.
He always talked about WWII and how he had lost so many guys in his company. Several days in a row I had noticed that he wasn’t coming down to the dining room for lunch or dinner. Went to his room to check on him and he wasn’t there. The nurse said he had a spell and fell out of his bed. His Dr wanted him to go to the hospital for observation. What had really happened is he had a stroke.
He got back to the nursing home about a week later and he really couldn’t remember anyone except for me. We talked the day after he got back and he told me he wasn’t doing good. He knew his time was coming to a close. Said it was time for him to pay for all the horrible things he had done when he was over in Europe. He wasn’t a religious man but he asked me where I thought he was going. I said to bed because it’s getting close to lights out.
He said “No Joe (btw, my name is Mike) I mean up or down. Now I’m not a deeply religious person either, but I said, Martin that’s not for me to say.” He laughed and said “I know where I’m going. There’s only one place for people who have done what I’ve done… I’ve k**led so many people Joe. Most of the time it didn’t matter who it was. We went into buildings just shooting. There’s only one place for me. It’s what I deserve.” I had absolutely nothing to respond with.
When I say that experience shook me to the core, I really mean it. That man’s face is burned into memory because of that conversation. He passed away the next day. His son said he kept asking where Joe was at. I quit that day.
Working in a nursing home is a haunting place. Takes a special type of person to be able to watch people just d** around you.”
“Former CNA in the dementia unit of an assisted living facility.
“My dad is on his way to pick me up now.”
She said that every time I checked on her until she d**d about a week after it started. While she was still mobile she would tidy her room and sit on the edge of her bed and just wait most of the day.”
Do you have any stories like this?
If so, please share them with us in the comments.
We look forward to it!