“Blue jolly ranchers are my favorite. That’s a good thing because my iLEAPP patient’s favorite were green apple.
Over the course of 16 months, I got to learn from my iLEAPP patient what it looked like to walk through life with a chronic illness. In between classes, I would sneak a bag of jolly ranchers over to my patient and we would divide it amongst ourselves.

It was during one of these jolly rancher visits that he told me he changed his code status to DNR/DNI. I knew he was in end-stage heart failure, but the reality of it hit me. He asked me for my approval, and then asked if there was anything else he could teach me during our time together. He had already taught me so much but little did I know, he was about to teach me even more than I could ask for.

The next week, he sent me a message saying that he turned off his ICD, thanked me for being with him through this journey, and asked if I would come to spend his last day with him so that he could teach me until his last breath.

I rushed over to the hospital the next day and got to be at his side for the last few hours of his life. It was the most meaningful gift anyone has ever given me and I am forever grateful for the way he invited me to be a part of his story.

He was the first patient I ever cared for as a nurse and he is forever a part of my story too.”

– Holly Bischof, RN, Nu’18, GNu’20
University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing