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Making the Best of a Hard Christmas

Photo: Dr. Cesar Aristeiguieta on the set of Untold Stories of the ER consulting a patient whose eye has just popped out of his socket.

DCL

Most stories about the holidays tend to be a bit sad. Nobody likes to be in the hospital during the holidays.

One of my favorite memories was of a family whose grandmother was very ill and was going to pass away on Christmas day. I thought that this was a tragic way to celebrate the holidays, but this family was a little different. They had prepared for their grandmother's passing and were comfortable that this was another step in the circle of life.

The emergency room (E.R.) was a bit slow that day, so we made some room for the family and they all came to say their goodbyes. We all thought that this was going to be a very emotional moment, but this family decided to have one last Christmas with Grandma in the E.R. They brought food, the kids were playing in the room around the bed, and there was a festive mood. This all while Grandma was resting comfortably and passing away.

You could almost see a smile on her face. No tubes, no pain, no heroic measures. This woman was dying with more love than I had ever seen before. This was a celebration of her life and her place in the family.

-- Dr. Cesar Aristeiguieta, Untold Stories of the E.R.

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