Team Jaxon

“Team Jaxon” profiles the parents of 5-year-old Jaxon Davis, who tell the impassioned story of the brain cancer victim. When Jaxon’s condition deteriorated during a family vacation, they received help from an anonymous family and were able to make it back to San Antonio Texas where they live.

“Team Jaxon” received an Emmy Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Science’s Lone Star Chapter. The My Real Life Moment™ patient video series was developed as an advocacy tool with the primary focus being to help the families heal by sharing their stories.

The elephant in the room

By Karen Sibert 26th February, 2012

One of my partners recently sent out a call for an extra pair of hands to help out in the operating room—and with good cause. The patient on the OR table was a woman in her 60’s whose massive stroke had left her hemiplegic, aphasic, and unable to swallow. She weighed well over 400 pounds. Attempts to place a percutaneous endoscopic feeding tube had failed due to her size, and she was now scheduled for open gastrostomy tube placement under general anesthesia.

Even with two experienced anesthesiologists working on the patient, getting vascular access and an endotracheal tube in place wasn’t easy. She was anemic for reasons that weren’t fully worked up, and her blood pressure was alarmingly labile. At the end of the procedure, the patient couldn’t be safely extubated so she went to the ICU. As it turned out, she never left. The family couldn’t agree on any reduction in the level of life support, and after a stormy five-week stay, she finally expired. The cost must have reached hundreds of thousands of dollars, and all was spent on sustaining a patient who had no hope whatsoever of meaningful recovery.

This is really the elephant in [...] continue the story

What does “palliative care” feel like?

It’s hard to imagine what a palliative care environment is like unless your family has experienced a loved one dying in one.

Almost eleven years ago, my 89 year old mother was dying of lung cancer. Fortunately, the almost five-year course of the disease had left her mostly symptom- and pain-free. But, about a month before she died, my mom suffered a nasty fall. After a day or so of hospital tests her (very wise) physician told us, “the disease has spread to her brain; there’s nothing more we can do. I suggest we transfer her to hospice.”

Startling, but not unexpected, news.

We talked with my mother about the transfer. She was calm and knew it was for the best.

I don’t remember what I was expecting when we accompanied my mother to the hospice facility, but it certainly wasn’t the kind of vibrant atmosphere we found there.

After all, death is supposed to be solemn and foreboding.

But not here. Here, families were sitting in a spacious greatroom, watching TV, playing games and laughing. There were kids around. The staff was upbeat and engaging.

We were shown to my mother’s room and encouraged to visit any time, day or night. A staff nurse reassured us [...] continue the story

5 Stories: San Diego Hospice and The Institute for Palliative Medicine

Hear the stories of San Diego Hospice patients, their caregivers, our staff and volunteers, who talk about making the most of each moment for as long as life lasts, while living with a serious illness or terminal illness.

June 30, 2011

Good Enough

AMS – Mimi Divinsky Awards. 2008 award winner Dr. Merrilee Brown reads her story.

These awards honour the late Mimi Divinsky, a family doctor with a special interest in narrative in family medicine.

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