StoryCorps at SHC: Mila Wright

Through this, I can't even imagine how a parent is supposed to say goodbye.

Mila Wright: You know most people say, “I don't like my job.” Or, “Gosh, I have to go to work today,” and, um, for me it was, every day I felt it'd be a blessing to be a part of the emergency department. Just being an ER tech inside the ER gave me a lot of flexibility to be with so many different people, so many different walks of life and to also be part of their families. I woke up and I said, “I don't care how difficult the day is. I know it's going to be a difficult day, I don't care how many codes there's going to be, as long as I can see that one patient is happy." You know? It's an incredible place to work. Incredible family to work with, but as a patient they've been incredibly helpful.

They see so many things, they deal with a lot. It's a very busy ER but again, if you can stop and just hear your patient. Just, just ask them what they need. Don't just say, “I'm going to give you this.” Be like, “What, what would make you little bit more comfortable?" Simple as, getting their family some tea if they can't eat, or the patient can't eat, or and get the patient a warm blanket. Like really personalize, you know? You think that you don't have time, but even just that one minute conversation can seriously impact a patient and their family.

For a long time I, I knew something was wrong when I was young, but I wasn't properly diagnosed until I was 21. I started having a lot of issues with, um, my heart. I was diagnosed with multisystem autonomic failure and then I subsequently was diagnosed with, um, congestive heart failure and I remember that day. I knew that, uh, I had heart failure before they even did the echo, because I had seen it so many times in the ER. My heart failure got a lot worse and I was told that I was not a transplant candidate um, due to my neurological condition, but that they had done as much as they could. They all tried to support me with keeping me comfortable and helping my family through it all. Um, and so we kind of just began that road and really tapping into well, what does that mean? What does our family need? What do I need? Um, and that's ultimately, uh, when I had to stop working.

By me being sick I could now understand what my patients were trying to tell me and how they felt of not being heard and, um, not understanding, like what is their diagnosis? What can they do for themselves? What are they allowed to ask for and things like that?

During my journey I knew that I could lean on my team. They were there to support me, not only medically, but to hear my concerns, or my fears. I just want to thank everyone, you know? My ER family, um, MAs, secretaries, people who have you know just come up to me and given me a hug. They're not even part of my team, they just see that I had a hard you know, appointment and they can see it in my eyes. I think, um, if I didn't have my family, if I didn't have my friends, if I didn't have my faith I wouldn't be here. I wouldn't have been as strong to fight through everything and I want them to hear that their endless support, their endless love has really meant a lot.

And I know that they have had their fair share of sadness and trying to deal with everything that's been going on and me going into hospice, um, but we're there for each other. And that's what is really important, is to be there for each other. Our family, our friends and to, for me also to be part of my faith and allow that to have me not be as afraid of what's going to happen next.

Through this I can't even imagine how a parent is supposed to say goodbye, but our family will do it and I want them to take care of themselves and I want them to love themselves and to take care of everything and live their life, and not have their life stop because mine did.

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