GOOD

Meet the Volunteers Who Comfort the Dying When No One Else Can

Nurse Sandra Clarke’s “No One Dies Alone” program has been spreading across the country for over 14 years.

Image via YouTube

In 2001, a dying man in a hospital asked his nurse, Sandra Clarke, to stay by his side as he passed away. He was alone with no family or friends to comfort him. She agreed, but first had to make her rounds. When she returned, the man had passed away. He died alone, but his passing changed the lives of countless people he’d never meet. Frustrated and angry that no one was able to stay with the dying man, Clarke resolved to create a group of volunteers to stay with patients who were alone and close to death.


Since then, her program has been spreading to hospitals across the United States. The No One Dies Alone (NODA) program gives people that are homeless, alone, or estranged from their families a way to die in peace and comfort with the aid of a companion. These brave volunteers work around the clock in three-hour shifts, keeping vigil with strangers whose final wish was to die with someone at their bedside.

“This is something very simple, but so important,” says volunteer Amanda Egler. “Because everyone is going to die, and to give three hours of your life, at the end of someone else’s, seems like the right thing to do.” “It’s an unusual but privileged journey to be with someone at the end of their life,” says another volunteer. “Why is the process of life so difficult? It’s a struggle for us to get in and out.” When keeping vigil, a volunteer will rub their patient’s feet, read aloud, play music, or simply hold their hand.

Sandra Clarke, R.N. discussing the birth of NODA.

Share this on Facebook?

Support NODA program or start your own program.


Articles
via Alan Levine / Flickr

The World Health Organization is hoping to drive down the cost of insulin by encouraging more generic drug makers to enter the market.

The organization hopes that by increasing competition for insulin, drug manufacturers will be forced to lower their prices.

Currently, only three companies dominate the world insulin market, Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi. Over the past three decades they've worked to drastically increase the price of the drug, leading to an insulin availability crisis in some places.

In the United States, the price of insulin has increased from $35 a vial to $275 over the past two decades.

Keep Reading Show less
Health

Oh, irony. You are having quite a day.

The Italian region of Veneto, which includes the city of Venice, is currently experiencing historic flooding. Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro has stated that the flooding is a direct result of climate change, with the tide measuring the highest level in 50 years. The city (which is actually a collection of 100 islands in a lagoon—hence its famous canal streets), is no stranger to regular flooding, but is currently on the brink of declaring a state of emergency as waters refuse to recede.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet

Since the International Whaling Commission banned commercial whaling in 1986, whale populations have been steadily recovering. However, whales in the wild still face other dangers. In the summer of 2018, four Russian companies that supply aquariums with marine animals captured almost 100 beluga whales and killer whales (aka orcas). After a public outcry, those whales are swimming free as the last of the captive whales have been released, the first time this many captured whales have been released back into the wild.

In late 2018 and early 2019, a drone captured footage of 11 orcas and 87 beluga whales crammed into holding pens in the Srednyaya Bay. The so-called "whale jail" made headlines, and authorities began to investigate their potentially illegal capture.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
via Twitter / Bye,Bye Harley Davidson

The NRA likes to diminish the role that guns play in fatal shootings by saying, "Guns don't kill people, people kill people."

Which is the same logic as, "Hammers don't build roofs, people build roofs." No duh. But it'd be nearly impossible to build a roof without a hammer.

So, shouldn't the people who manufacture guns share some responsibility when they are used for the purpose they're made: killing people? Especially when the manufacturers market the weapon for that exact purpose?

Keep Reading Show less
Business
via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

The 2020 election is a year away, but Donald Trump has some serious ground to cover if he doesn't want it to be a historical blowout.

A Washington Post- ABC News poll released Tuesday shows that Trump loses by double digits to the top Democratic contenders.

Vice President Joe Biden (56%-39%); Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts (54%-39%); Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont (56%-39%); South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg (52%-41%); and Sen. Kamala Harris of California (52%-41%) all have big leads over the president.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics