2018 was a new year and a new start in a new city for Chin Get, 92, as he moved from Florida to Boston to be closer to family. On the morning of July 23, he left his assisted living facility to go for a walk. After a while, he realized he didn’t know where he was or how to get back – and he had forgotten to bring along the phone number or address of his assisted living facility or the number of his niece who lived in the area. He was in the middle of an unfamiliar city. And he was lost.
That afternoon, Shannon Lukis, RN, a Cardiology nurse at Tufts Medical Center, was walking to her parking lot after wrapping up her shift for the day, when she saw Get standing outside a Chinese supermarket. She immediately recognized him from a week-long stay in the Cardiology Inpatient Unit about seven weeks earlier; she had taken care of him while he was experiencing shortness of breath.
Lukis stopped and asked Get if he needed help; when he told her he was lost and didn’t know how to get home, Lukis called her unit coordinator back at Tufts MC and was able to determine the name and address of Get’s assisted living facility. Since it was a 30-minute walk – too far for a nonagenarian who had been walking most of the day – Lukis made the decision to drive Get back herself. She dropped him off, safe and sound, at 5pm, just in time for dinner. He had been wandering around Boston for nearly eight hours.
“Our family is very thankful that Shannon was in the right place at the right time,” said Get's niece, Beverly Wing. “We are so grateful for her determination, professionalism and dedication to her patients.”
About two weeks later, Get returned to Tufts MC for a followup appointment in Cardiology. He sought out Lukis and thanked her again for helping him to get home. Lukis coordinated with Wing to make sure Get had the necessary information and resources available and on his person at all times, so that history would not repeat itself.
“We take a lot of pride in our commitment to our patients’ wellbeing,” said Lukis. “And sometimes that pledge extends beyond the walls of the Medical Center.”
“Shannon went above and beyond as both a nurse and a person,” said Wing. “I want everyone to know how amazing she is!”