Cindy Mueller, vice president of mission integration at Mission Hospital,
discusses how hospital volunteers ensure no one dies alone and are at
peace in their last moments of life.
She was in her 40s, dying of cancer with no family members who could be
with her. The hospital team worked to help her children, ages 12 and 17,
to say goodbye to their mother. A volunteer from No One Dies Alone was
called in, and the children were told that this volunteer would be there
for their mom in her last moments of life. The children then went to stay
“The patient was not communicative at all,” says Cindy Mueller,
vice president of mission integration at Mission Hospital. But after four
hours, says Mueller, the woman opened her eyes, turned toward the volunteer
with a tear in her eye, and mouthed the words ‘thank you.’
This is just one story of many that reveal the importance of the No One
Dies Alone (NODA) program. Begun in 2001 by a nurse in Oregon, it is today
offered at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, Mission Hospital and Mission
Hospital Laguna Beach.