15 Medical Professionals Share the Most Haunting Last Words They’ve Heard on the Job

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There are many, many reasons that working in the medical field is not for me, but having the responsibility of being with someone while they take their last breath is definitely one of them.

That said, the list below is as fascinating as it is morbid, so please take a gander!

#15. To this day it still creeps me out.

I was about five or six when my grandfather was on his deathbed. The last thing he did was put his hand on my shoulder and said, “No wonder you never liked my spicy food.” and then he passed about ten seconds later. We were all super confused. About three months later I almost died from suffocation after eating some salsa. At the hospital I was diagnosed with a capsaicin allergy (Spicy food). To this day it still creeps me out. No one knew I was allergic before then, and I didn’t show any signs either.

#14. Sky diving again.

Had a patient on the cardiac icu during my second month of intern year who had newly diagnosed heart failure that we couldn’t figure out what caused it.

He was a healthy guy. In his 60s. Did yoga every day, walked a few miles 5 days a week. Genuinely nice guy which is always a bad prognostic sign.

With his heart failure, his heart was so stretched out and not squeezing adequately to provide the blood and subsequent oxygen he needs to the rest of his body. A few nights into his hospital stay, I come in the next morning and discovered that the senior resident had to code him for sustained unstable heart arrhythmia ( unstable v tach). I went and talked with him about it the next morning and he told me that he was in and out of consciousness during it all (from the low blood pressure) but he compared it to the feeling of jumping out of the plane and sky diving.

Later that morning I was checking on him again and he didn’t look so good. He goes into the arrhythmia again, drops his blood pressure, and is in and out of consciousness. As I’m charging the defibrillator to shock him again, he comes back around to and briefly and asks me if I’m taking him sky diving again and let’s out a nervous laugh before losing consciousness.

#13. Damn if she wasn’t right.

“I’m going home tonight, so I won’t see you tomorrow, bye!” Damn if she wasn’t right

#12. I think she already knew.

Not the very last words, but I had a patient in her early 20s who was severely thrombocytopenic and bleeding profusely for days ask me if she was going to make it, I had to look her in the eyes and tell her there is a good chance she wouldn’t. I thought she would bust into tears but no, she just kind of sat back and accepted it, I think she already knew. She died shortly after I got off shift.

#11. I just want to die.

With wide eyes, “Don’t listen to my family, they want to keep my around forever but I just want to die. They won’t let me.”

Edit: She wanted to get off dialysis which was a death sentence for her

#10. He died within minutes.

Student- “Sir, are you in any pain?” Patient- “The fuck kind of dumbass question is that I just got fucking stabbed, fuck yeah I’m in pain.”

He died within minutes.

#9. A foot soldier in WWII.

My pop died of lung cancer. The last lucid thing he did was wake up just long enough to sing “Show me the way to go home. I’m tired and I want to go to bed. I had a little drink about an hour ago and it went right to my head”. It was really pretty amazing and freaky at the same time.

Fuck cancer.

Edit: Wow my first gold. Thanks for the glitter and all the kind words. My sincerest condolences to everyone who has lost someone to this horrible disease. Dad was over 80 and had smoked for a lot of his life. I still miss him but he lived a long life and his time had come. I’ve lost a couple of friends who are my age to cancer and those deaths are much harder to accept.

He was a foot soldier in WWII and he sang that song while marching through Germany I believe.

#8. No, I wouldn’t.

I was visiting my grandpa and had to leave town and go back to medical school, and I told him I loved him and would see him later. He told me he loved me too, but no I wouldnt. He was right, he died a week later of pneumonia.

#7. He took her hand to his lips and kissed it.

(Nurse) In hospital caring for 40ish man with brain tumor, coming in and out of consciousness. Not to be resuscitated. His 16 year-old daughter was crying non-stop for 12 hours. His wife, who had been given a few months to prepare herself, was calm and focused on her husband. I had to routinely check his level of consciousness which involved talking to him in a loud voice (responds to auditory stimulation), which I did not like to do. So I asked his wife to do the loud voice part, so the voice he would hear would be hers not mine, and she did so without hesitation. The only response we observed with. her vocalization was that this by now profoundly unconscious patient took her hand to his lips and kissed it. He stopped breathing very soon after that. I am haunted, but not in a bad way.

#6. I should have let him have it.

wasn’t his last words, but last words he said to me.

I am an EMT, and we had a frequent patient, almost once a week. he was a HUGE dick, but towards the end he turned into a sweet and appreciative man. We were in his house, which what ended up being out last day there. He knew it. I didn’t. He said “can i just have a beer before we leave for the hospital.” i didn’t let him have it. i should have.

#5. How do I die?

A family friend had a very young niece that was dying from cancer. Her parents were there to comfort her in the final hours, and one of the last things she asked was “How do I die?”.

#4. You’re not alone.

It wasn’t words, but the most haunting death was a patient who was DNR, through her and her family’s wishes. She was losing her battle, and her family wasn’t there. She was getting frantic and looking around and half sitting up in bed, and a nurse with more experience than me, took her hand and calmly said, “it’s ok. You’re not alone. We’re right here with you; it’s ok to leave.” The patient immediately calmed, put her head back on the pillow and died.

I knew I wanted to be that nurse when I grew up. How the hell did she know just what to do and say? I’ve never forgotten it.

#3. Actually haunting us.

“I’m gonna fuck y’all up” – Old man who never attended his dialysis appointments

A few hours later we had a fire right by his former room, so despite not being all that worrying at the time, he definitely was the only one that followed through on actually haunting us.

#2. I don’t feel so good.

I’m an EMT. Had a patient say “I don’t feel so good” right before they dropped dead of a massive heart attack.

It was just the matter of fact way they said it.

#1. He just kept apologizing.

When I was training I had a guy go into a massive cardiac arrest. We ended up working on him for over an hour and a half because we kept getting him back then losing him again. He had wet himself during the arrest (which is common, it happens) and he just kept apologising for “making a mess.”

Yep, still never doing it.