He knew he didn't have much time left. His family knew it. His hospice care team knew it, too. So after learning their patient was a veteran, one of the Mayo Clinic Hospice team members asked if he would like to have a brief ceremony to recognize his military service. He agreed and a ceremony was arranged for that same day.
The patient was alert as he and his family waited in his hospital room. Members of the Veterans Mayo Employee Resource Group arrived to perform the ceremony. First came introductions. Next, a family member fastened two pins — the American flag and the patient's branch of service — onto his clothing. The patient was then presented with a branch-specific pillowcase made by Mayo Clinic's team of hospice volunteers. Then a member of the Mayo veterans group read and presented the patient with a framed certificate that thanked him for service to his country. Next would come a final salute by the assembled Veterans Mayo Employee Resource Group members. But as the words of gratitude were read, the man's breathing slowed, and he passed away in their presence. Read the rest of the story.
This story originally appeared on the In the Loop blog.