Patient's Last Wish Granted

11/26/12

Winchester Staff Help Patient Attend Son’s Wedding

Sylvia Beaulieu only wanted one thing – to make it to her son’s wedding. 

Sylvia, a patient at Winchester Hospital, had been in and out of the hospital since 2007 and a patient six times this year alone before passing away on Oct. 6.

But her final wish was to make it to her son’s wedding day on Sep. 15. The Wakefield resident had placed her wedding dress in her kitchen so she could be reminded of what she was living for.

This past July, Sylvia was very ill and admitted to the hospital. She was later discharged to an area nursing home and the nursing staff and case management team didn’t think she was going to make it. 

On Sep. 8, Sylvia was readmitted to the hospital. 

“When she came back, she was still very sick,” said Winchester nurse manager, Chrissie Quill, RN. “But each day was a step closer to the wedding day.” 

As the day slowly approached, the nurses began setting up a plan to get her to the Lynnfield church.

But on the Friday before the wedding, Sylvia was told she had 24 to 48 hours to live. So Desiree Letellier and Krista Callan, Winchester Hospital nurses, offered to accompany Sylvia to the wedding.

“I felt honored to be a part of this, everyone trying to get her to her son’s wedding,” Callan said. “It was an amazing feeling being a part of this team.”

On Saturday morning, Quill received a text on her phone: “Wedding day!!” And Sylvia was off to the wedding.

“She was nervous,” Letellier said of Sylvia. “But once she saw her son, I saw a smile on her face that I hadn’t seen before. I’ve been with her two years and she talked about this day for months. She only wanted to get to her son’s wedding. And to finally get to that day and have her attend the wedding, it was unbelievable.”

Sylvia’s hair, make up and nails were done by many of the nursing staff. She took an ambulance to the church and was able to sit in a wheelchair as she was taken down the aisle to see her son get married. 

“That Saturday was one of the greatest days in my career,” Quill said. 

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About Winchester Hospital

Winchester Hospital is the first community hospital in Massachusetts to earn Magnet® recognition, the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s highest honor for nursing excellence. As the northwest suburban Boston area’s leading provider of comprehensive health care services, the 229-bed facility provides care in general, bariatric and vascular surgery, orthopedics, cardiology, pulmonary medicine, oncology, radiation oncology, gastroenterology, urology, gynecologic urology, rehabilitation, pain management, obstetrics/gynecology, pediatrics and a Level IIB Special Care Nursery. Winchester Hospital has clinical affiliations with several nationally recognized hospitals in the region, including Boston Children’s Hospital, Tufts Medical Center and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. To learn more, visit www.winchesterhospital.org.