Heart of Hospice Helps Bring 24-year-old Patient Home to Shreveport to Ensure She Spends Final Days on Her Terms

By: Kimberly Workman
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Corrine Lightbourn
Corrine Lightbourn
SHREVEPORT, La. - May 28, 2019 - PRLog -- In 2017, 21-year-old Corrine Lightbourn began having issues with her health. She reported to the Emergency Room with complaints of chest and stomach pain. The Emergency Department care team discovered that Lightbourn had a large ovarian cyst that required surgical removal. The pre-op work then revealed Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) as a result of undiagnosed viral endocarditis. She was sent home with medications to manage the condition. However, despite her committed medication regime, Lightbourn's symptoms were still not relieved and she was placed on a constant dobutamine drip. After two years constantly in and out of the hospital, she was sent to Ochsner New Orleans Intensive Care Unit in Cardiogenic shock where she was being administered further medication through IV drips.

Despite the rigorous care she was receiving, Lightbourn knew she did not have much time left, and shared that she did not want to spend her final days in a hospital setting. She decided to adopt comfort care measures and return home to Shreveport.

Getting Lightbourn home and on hospice care, however, would not be an easy task. She needed to take a six hour ambulance ride back to Shreveport, and once she was home, she would have to remain on a continuous IV drip.

Since administrating IV drips is a very technical procedure, it is not a common practice in hospice care. Her doctors communicated to her that even if they could find a hospice to admit her, the trip home would still be risky, but Lightbourn decided to make it nonetheless; her priority remained spending time with her family and friends. She shared: "I did not have everyone around me, and it was just not what I wanted."

At her request, her doctors contacted Heart of Hospice - New Orleans whose care team worked seamlessly with their sister agency in Shreveport to ensure that Lightbourn's home was ready for her return and fully prepared with necessary medical equipment. Heart of Hospice is one of few hospice companies that administers IV drips to patients in a home setting for symptom management when necessary.

Lightbourn left the hospital that evening and arrived home at 2 a.m. where a Heart of Hospice Administrator, Heather Nelson, RN, was waiting to admit her.

Nelson shared, "As a nurse and an Administrator, the needs of our patients and their families always come first. It does not matter whether they need me at 2 p.m. or 2 a.m. I'll drop what I'm doing to help in any way possible."

Nelson completed the necessary paperwork, met with Lightbourn and her family, and discussed Lightbourn's goals for care moving forward. She shared that she had three small wishes: to drink a margarita, to go swimming, and to see her dog. Nelson began working with her family immediately to ensure that all three of these desires were fulfilled.

Nelson said, "I saw a patient who had spent the last two years consistently attached to a machine or confined to her home and now just wanted to be free to enjoy the precious moments she had left. I knew the first step in ensuring her wishes were met was to get a portable concentrator. The concentrator would allow her to move around freely when she had the energy."

Lightbourn and her loved ones say they are extremely grateful for what Heart of Hospice enabled them to do. She has spent time with her beautiful German shorthair pincher mix, Lotus. She had a pool party at her family friend's pool where she not only was able to swim, but was also surrounded by great company and delicious barbeque. Lightbourn was even able to have her margarita, and while she was being treated to a pedicure!

When asked about her journey, Lightbourn shares: "People ask me why I believe in God, but there are a million reasons why I believe. Just the simple acts of kindness and the blessings in my life show me that He is helping."

Although Lightbourn is spending her final days on her terms, Robin Doty, Lightbourne's mother, still worries about the road ahead and upcoming funeral costs.

Doty shares: "I know my daughter is going to a better place, but this is still the hardest thing I have ever done."

A Facebook fundraiser page has been set up to help with upcoming funeral costs. Those interested in donating can visit: https://www.facebook.com/donate/335797310453228/10158471150645744/

Her family thanks you in advance for your support.

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Tags:Hospice, Health Care, Last Wish
Location:Shreveport - Louisiana - United States
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Page Updated Last on: May 29, 2019

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