Filippo Porco Porco IPorco I
Mrs. Ayisha Jefferson
A young couple Tony 22 years old, Alba 20years old came to the Unit where I was working, the Oncology Unit. Working as a nurse student you just run all night long Tony had been diagnosed with a terminal type of cancer in the last six months. What a day! I can still remember the day I met them; they were actually celebrating their first wedding anniversary in the Hospital with an IV pole and a high dose of chemotherapy. It was such a nice pleasure meeting them, not only because they were Latino, but also because they were a nice young couple; happy, funny and dedicated to their faith.
F: Hey Tony, my name is Filippo and Im here to help you through the night.
T: Do you like baseball?
F: Are you kidding me? I love baseball!
(We talked about the Yankees for something like 10 minutes.)
T: What are you doing in here man?
F: Im actually a nurse student.
T: Thats cool. So, do you like it?
F: Yes, man! I enjoy it, for the most part. (Laughs)
T: What do you like the most about nursing?
F: I actually enjoy listening to patients and helping them out.
T: Do you believe in God?
F: Absolutely, I believe in God!
T: Hey Filippo, what denomination are you?
F: Well, Im catholic.
T: Would you pray with me?
F: Sure, what should we pray about?
T: I dont know. Just pray, it helps me relax.
(We prayed for one hour.)
The next night I went to work, he started to get sick throwing up and on lots of pain medication (Morphine, marinol ) but he was still smiling and joking around about baseball and basketball. The third night he was still really sick, and in the morning, before I left, we prayed some more. The next night I saw him, his family was so happy that had I had prayed with him, they brought me dinner; I really appreciated that. I saw him every single day for the week while he was in the institution. The following night, I had to work in a different unit, so Tonys family called me where I was and wanted me to pray with them. I felt honored to be called and presided over the prayer.
Days passed and things were not looking good. His health was greatly Diminishing and the doctors were very uncertain about his condition. We continued to pray for Gods will over him.
Things got darker and darker and the doctor predicted only two days left. Tony smiled and said, I want all my family here. Hours later people started coming from Puerto Rico, New York, basically from everywhere. It was just lots of people coming and going from the room (like a big Latino party), and believe it or not, he was still joking about everything. While the family was there, he asked me to pray with them.
As time passed the situation continued to get really bad. His breathing became slow and long but still he was praying and singing with us. I got really attached to Tony and his family; that night while I worked, I spent lots of time at his room. Even my nurses supervisor was a little concerned about me. They didnt want me to stay too close with the family or the patient because the doctors were actually predicting for him to die that night. We sang and prayed a lot; then, in the middle of the night, he opened his eyes and called everybody by name. He asked his mom where I was, so she called me at the nursing station, and I went to his room.
T: Hey man, what are you doing out there?
F: (smiling) Just checking the results of the baseball game. (I was actually working with other patients.)
T: (looking at me and smiling) youd better pull for the Yankees!
F: I actually like the Mets.
T: (looking me straight in the eyes) Hey Filippo, how long do I have to live?
F: I dont know.
T: Am I going to be okay when I leave?
F: Im sure you will be okay.
T: Please help my mom after I die. Help her and pray with her.
I promised him I would and then He called his mom in. When I left the room, tears just came out of my eyes. I felt very special and deeply touched to hear what he said.
Right before the end of my shift, I went to do Tonys last round of medicine and change him (He was swelling and dehydrated). The nurse also turned him. The room was dim -dark and he was lightly sleeping; then, he looked at me and said, Hey there. Am I dead yet? My heart just broke in pieces and I said, No Tony, you are still with us.
It had being a long night, and I knew he wouldnt have much time left, so I told the nurses to please call me when everything(the end) was getting closer. I left the Hospital after working twelve hrs and went to the Gym; I had to work out, I just felt so much pressure inside of me. I got home around 9 am, ate breakfast, and went to bed around 10 am with the phone next to me. I couldnt sleep; I just kept rolling around.
F: uh huh, uh huh
N: Its me, K.
F: uh huh
N: Its getting close now.
F: (half asleep) what are you talking about?
N: Tony is dying now.
F: What? Who is dying now? (Still half asleep)
N: Filippo, Tony is dying! Come now!
F: (I suddenly realized that I was hearing what I didnt want to hear and I suddenly woke up) Im on my way now!
I got to the hospital around 10:45 am. All the family was there and they were singing and praying for Tony. He was sort of half-way asleep and when I got there, I started singing with them. Two minutes passed and his respirations were very long. I called the nurse and she gave him extra morphine allowing him to die peacefully with his family and his friends. He finally died.
After he died, people were crying very loudly. I held his moms arm and his family helped me with her. After a while the family decided to leave but I stayed in the room and helped the morning nurse prepare him for the morgue.