A Drive to say Goodbye

ICU Nurse Helps Plattsburgh man see daughter one last time

Offering a ride to help out a family member, friend or even a neighbor is something most of us have done at one point in our lives. An ICU nurse at The University of Vermont Health Network – Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital (CVPH) took that an extraordinary step further by picking up a dying patient’s father to say goodbye.

Connor Bond, BSN, RN was working as a charge nurse in the ICU recently when the patient arrived after going into cardiac arrest. Her mother was there, but according to Bond, her father had decided to stay home initially.

“He is unable to drive, so he had no way to get here. And the mother stressed to the nurse who was caring for her daughter that she wished her husband was here right now, and that he should really see her,” Bond, who has been with CVPH since 2018, including nearly two years in the ICU, explains.

Knowing their daughter’s situation was tenuous and that she might not live much longer, Bond wanted to do what he could for both parents in what was a devastating time for both of them. He found out they only lived about ten minutes away from the hospital and volunteered to pick the father up and bring him to the ICU.

“I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it, because to me it’s not really something heroic,” Bond adds.

“I just thought it was something I could do for someone else. I thought, what if I was in a similar situation, what would I want done for me. This was just something I could do to help out.”

Because of Bond’s compassionate act, a father was able to see his daughter one last time and say goodbye. He also had a chance to talk to her doctor to better understand what was happening. And when the father was ready to leave, Bond was there to once again offer a ride.

On the way home, he told Bond how appreciative he was, even as he struggled with what was happening to his daughter. Later, his wife also told Bond how appreciative she was of what he did, allowing her to focus on her daughter and stay by her side until she took her last breath.

“There’s so many difficult situations with patients and everything we’re dealing with right now. It’s a really challenging career,” Bond admits. “So when you can have these small moments, and sometimes they come often, most of the time they don’t, but to know that something that you’ve done can impact somebody so significantly is very meaningful. I think it’s really the biggest part of this job that keeps me going.”