Description of Your Relationship with Tufts Medical Center and/or Tufts Children's Hospital:
I am a family member of a Tufts Medical Center patient. My husband was brought to Tufts as a result of his declining health due to heart failure. The care he received at Tufts enabled him to recover from a serious, and at times critical, condition to a point that he is able to have a good quality of life as he awaits a heart transplant.
How did you come to receive care at Tufts MC or Tufts Children's Hospital?
My husband was told by a regional medical center that there was nothing more that they could do for him, which was devastating news to both of us. But just then a doctor who works both at that medical center and here at Tufts presented us with options – options that could ultimately lead to a heart transplant. That information gave us both hope that there was still a future possible for my husband.
What advice would you offer patients and/or their families who are receiving care at Tufts Medical Center to make their stay easier/most comfortable?
If you come in from out of the Boston area, become familiar with the area and the hospital:
- Accommodations: When coming in for clinic visits, we’ve stayed at the Hilton Doubletree when commuting would have added a burden to my husband’s strength and stamina. When my husband was hospitalized, I found staying nearby to be very helpful.
- Valet Parking: Use valet parking near the Emergency Room entrance for convenience, but pay close attention to their hours of operation, as it is not trivial to get your vehicle after hours.
What helped you most during your stay/your family member’s stay at Tufts Medical Center?
The team of doctors and nurses, along with other professionals, including pharmacists, social workers, financial specialists, and others – all had a team approach and guided us through the complex testing and preparation procedures for my husband to qualify to be on the heart transplant list.
The kindness of all staff members, including housekeepers, food service providers and call center representatives, transporters, and all who provided medical care was greatly appreciated.
Most important - The nurses on Pratt 8 were able to help me, as my husband’s caretaker, to be able to administer the dressing changes at home for his LVAD (Left Ventricular Assist Device – or heart pump) driveline. Having no medical background – and a level of fear of my husband’s dependence on my ability to do these dressing changes properly – was very intimidating. The nursing staff made certain that I was comfortable with the process and confident in my ability to do the procedure.
What area amenities (stores, restaurants, etc.) did you/your family find helpful:
- Hilton Doubletree or Marriott Courtyard for accommodations within easy walking distance. (Especially the Doubletree right across the street for walking back by myself late at night.)
- Restaurant at Hilton Doubletree has been great for meals without having to go far.
- Coffee shop (Dunkin Donuts) and restaurants right within Tufts building are very convenient
What is one piece of advice you would like to give potential patients or families?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask for help to make sure you are comfortable and confident with any care that will be needed when a patient goes home.