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Caring Expertise at Life’s Most Difficult Moments

Friday, September 15, 2017 8:04 AM

Physicians and nurses know that pain and suffering can occur at all times of the day and night. Hospice caregivers must be particularly in tune with the compassion and responsiveness needed to assist a family with a dying loved one.


Linda Pedian and her family found themselves in that difficult situation late last year. Christmas Eve was nearing as her 90-year-old father Vahan Pedian approached the end of his life. Yet, with the caring expertise of NorthShore hospice nurses—who arrived within an hour of receiving the call—Pedian found that the death of a loved one can actually be a peaceful experience.

Human Touch
“Death doesn’t have to be a scary thing,” said Pedian, who credits nurses Tony Cordero, RN, BSN, and Mico Tepora, RN, BSN, with enabling the family to be with their father and say their final goodbyes as his condition deteriorated rapidly. The family patriarch died peacefully at his Glenview home with his wife of 68 years at his side.

“With the help of these hospice nurses, my dad was able to achieve the best possible passing from this life to his place with all the good angels,” recalled Pedian. “Even though he passed away on the eve of one of the biggest holidays and over a weekend, NorthShore Hospice completed all the professional steps required, while allowing our family to gather around my dad as he left his home of 46 years.” 

Higher Calling
Cordero decided to become a hospice nurse after taking care of his own mother who died from Alzheimer’s disease. “Every death is different and every patient is different,” said Cordero. “But our job is always to comfort the family and assure them that we are doing everything we can to make their loved one comfortable.”

“They look to you for guidance in a part of life that is really a mystery,” noted Tepora. “It really is an honor to be there, meeting people who have lived long, beautiful lives. We know that we’ll be one of the last people that can help them get through a very tough time. It’s like running a long challenging race and we help carry them to the finish line.”

Pedian feels so strongly about the value of hospice, she hopes to help others introduce the idea of hospice care earlier in their loved one’s journey. “Families are not alone because of hospice,” said Pedian. “I think a beautiful death is as important as a beautiful life.”