The Kidney Transplant Department is nestled in a corner of the third floor of Wege Building South, and shares a waiting room with Cardiac Rehab. This location may not be well-known to many staff in the organization, but it is well-known to patients who have received the gift of life in the form of a kidney transplant.
Charlie had suffered from kidney disease for many years, and she finally received a life-saving kidney transplant on October 11, 2016, a day that will be celebrated for many years to come.
Following her post-operative treatment plan, Charlie returned to the Transplant Department for her first follow-up appointment on October 20, 2016.
One of the most compelling nursing roles is to educate patients about caring for their new kidney transplant, which often entails explaining many detailed instructions. As Kathy VandenBosch, RN, was sharing her knowledge with Charlie, she noticed her patient’s eyes rolling back. VandenBosch immediately recognized this as a serious complication.
With swift action, VandenBosch assessed Charlie and found her to be unresponsive and pulseless. VandenBosch calmly yelled for help. Mark Boelkins, MD, who was nearby, immediately responded and began performing CPR. Cindy Henney, RN, heard the call and responded by getting the closest crash cart, located across the hall in Cardiac Rehab. With it came two Cardiac Rehab colleagues, who applied the AED. The team expertly activated the emergency response system, alerting a code blue to the entire organization. This team of clinicians assisted until the Rapid Responders arrived and took over the resuscitation.
The Rapid Responder team was able to regain a pulse. Charlie was intubated and quickly transported to the Emergency Department. While all of this was happening, Charlie’s son was in the room attending this appointment with her. Instead of letting him stand there in shock, Karyn Honing, MSW, held him in her arms and supported him on the way to the Emergency Department with his mom.
Fortunately, this type of scenario does not typically occur in the Transplant Department. However, the quick actions of this team — which are ingrained from years of astute clinical experience — saved Charlie’s life.
Later, it was discovered that Charlie had an occlusion. She received a stent and was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit, where she received excellent nursing care from the nursing staff of Hauenstein 2.
The Transplant Center’s team demonstrates the skill and compassionate care for our patients, their families and our staff for their consideration to receive the following March Awards, all during Kidney Month. We thank them for the excellent care they provide to those entrusted to us!
Cindy Henney, RN – aisy Award
Kathy VandenBosch, RN – Daisy Award
Karyn Honig, MSW – Friends of Nursing Award
Mark Boelkins, MD – Physician Appreciation Award