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DAISY honoree brings holiday celebrations to dying patient
RN also channels Tom Cruise and re-enacts scene from movie
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EDITOR'S NOTE: Gavigan's story is based on submitted nominations.
Gavigan and the team wanted to keep their spirits up. The patient would be receiving palliative chemotherapy in an attempt to give her a few more days or weeks. Gavigan wanted to do more. He found out one of her favorite movies was “Risky Business” and dressed up as Tom Cruise in a white shirt and sunglasses — and scrub pants — to recreate the movie’s famous dance scene. He sang and danced to “Old Time Rock and Roll” as the patient’s sisters and staff cheered him on. The patient smiled, grateful to witness such a production in her room.
Unfortunately, the patient did not make it out of the hospital and passed away. Each of these celebrations and stage productions were done with the utmost respect for the patient and her family. 

Her three sisters participated and have some wonderful memories of their sister’s final days, as evidenced by their letters and comments to leadership and associates. 
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Nominations for DAISY honoree Mike Gavigan, RN, ICU, illustrate how, despite the circumstances, Gavigan aimed to make the patient and family experience as pleasant as possible with his own unique ideas for celebrating holidays and providing entertainment.
The patient arrived at the ICU in respiratory distress relevant to a diagnosis of cancer and the location of the cancer. This was a new diagnosis with significant progression of the cancer. 

The patient did not wish to be intubated, and the physicians, respiratory therapists and nurses worked to make the patient comfortable by trying different methods of oxygen delivery. They provided exceptional clinical care; however, the team knew that the outcome was not going to be a good one for the patient.
   Gavigan had connected with the patient and her family. He wanted to brighten her days and keep her spirits up. He found out that her three favorite holidays were Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas and devised a plan for her to celebrate each one. 

On the first day, he led the team on a trick or treat mission. He and the team donned glow sticks and went trick or treating in her room. The patient and her sisters laughed and enjoyed the impromptu Halloween celebration. 

On the next day, Mike and the team provided the patient and family with a Thanksgiving celebration. And on the following day, the Christmas celebration was on, complete with lights and a small tree.
Gavigan and his team provided this patient and her family with one last Halloween, one last Thanksgiving, one last Christmas and a Tom Cruise impersonation. His dedication, commitment and leadership made it all possible. He made this patient’s final days memorable for not only her but also for her sisters. 

Gavigan treats all of his patients and families with care and provides guidance and feedback to fellow associates on how to continually improve the patient experience and make connections that result in an exceptional patient experience.
Yes, they excelled at the clinical components of care; however, Gavigan and his team also excelled at the human connection and what that means in day-to-day interactions with patients and their families.

It is the little things that can bring such joy and memories that last a lifetime and beyond. He understands how these “little things” are imperative in a time of crisis, and that his role as a nurse includes not only clinical competency but also the human touch and a connection that provide solace and comfort in a time of need.
Mike Gavigan, BSN, RN ICU Cape Canaveral Hospital Cocoa Beach, Fla.
Nominator's stories exemplify holistic and compassionate care that provided an exceptional experience and great memories for the family and patient.
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DAISY meaningful recognition guide
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Honoree brings holidays to dying patient and her family.
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