When a sick person enters a hospital, medical professionals are expected to use whatever necessary methods to ensure the survival and health of the patient.
Tragically, hospice caretakers are merely there to make them as comfortable as possible during the last months, days, or even hours of their lives.
When an elderly man was taken in hospice care at Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo, Michigan, his daughter was often there to check on him.But one day she saw what one of her father’s nurses were doing and she knew immediately that she had to film the event.
Robert Olson seemed to be in prime health when he retired at the age of 85.However, soon after, his condition began to quickly get worse, leaving him with breathing issues and fighting for his life.
His family had the sick feeling that this time he wasn’t going to get out and Robert was placed in hospice care, which is the warning of death for most patients.
Nurse Brenda Buurstra works at the hospice care and was known for going above and beyond the call of duty, to make her patients as comfortable as possible.
The Kalamazoo, Michigan, nurse started looking after Robert and soon they formed a strong bond.Hoping to spend the last days of her dad’s life with him, daughter Roberta Lytle went to visit her father in hospice, checking up on his health.
After her arrival, she quickly noticed that nurse Brenda wasn’t providing the same level of care as the others. She then made her time at the hospital to inform others about the nurse’s unconventional treatment…
Apparently Lytle recorded nurse Brenda Buurstra offering her elderly father an unorthodox type of treatment without her knowing. Robert had told Nurse Brenda that he loved the song “You Light up My Life”.
Nurse Brenda returned the next day with the lyrics printed out and encouraged Robert to sing with her. She had learned all the lyrics and sang it to Robert as he listened in awe.
“He said, ‘My favorite song is “You Light Up My Life”.’ And I just started singing it,” Buurstra said.
Roberta Lytle had a hard time believing her ears when she first heard Buurstra belt out the timeless ballad.Quickly, she pulled out her cell phone and captured the heartwarming act of kindness.
Watch the video below to see:
“I’m just blown away because the woman’s got a voice,” said Robert’s daughter Roberta Lytle.
Incredibly, Lyle watched as her father, who could barely speak at the time, joined in.
“Even through his little venting mask he was wearing, his eyes lit up. His whole countenance changed, and he had a big smile,” said Roberta.
Nobody expected Robert to be able to find the strength to sing with this special nurse, but he did!
“You could tell that song lit him up. Literally ‘You Light Up My Life,’ that song really just lit him up. You could tell it touched his heart.”
Although Buurstra’s compassionate investment in her patients makes their stay in hospice a little easier, her care for Olson is particularly unique.
Within days of the nurse’s private concerts, Olson’s health began to become better.
Doctors had told the family that it was likely Robert would die in hospice care but then, one week later, Robert was discharged from hospice care and headed home.
The family had credit her father’s recover to Buurstra, revealing that he could barely even speak when he was first admitted.
“He has heart problems but because of his age, they can’t put a pacemaker in,” Lytle explains.
”He had an episode at the house, and he couldn’t breathe. So they took him to Bronson Hospital. He was there about a week. We did not think he was coming home this time.”
Nurse Buurstra has been singing for her patients for more than a decade, but this was the first time her selfless deed has been brought to light.
Without Buurstra going above and beyond to help her critically ill father, he may not be here today.
“I have sung to patients for 14 years, and this is just the first time I got caught … To make that awful hospital stay they’re going through just a little bit better, a little bit brighter,” said Brenda.
Buurstra explained that, while she loves to sing in general, she finds that it improves the quality of life for her patients.
In some cases, such as Olson’s, it even helps with their recovery.
“To make that awful hospital stay they’re going through just a little bit better, a little bit brighter,” Buurstra said.
“I wanted to be on a team of positive people, and that’s what we have here at Bronson. I’m not the only nurse who goes above and beyond at Bronson. This is what we do every day.”
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