One Family’s Journey Through COVID-19

In mid-March, just as the novel coronavirus was taking hold in this country, Peter Jardine and his wife AnneMarie were eagerly preparing to move from their home in South Berwick to a new home along the shores of the Kennebec River. As they packed boxes and cleaned out cupboards, they could not know that the journey they had planned to their new home would include an emergency detour to Maine Medical Center (MMC), where Peter was admitted with COVID-19 on March 27.

Peter spent several weeks in the MMC Intensive Care Unit, fighting for his life. It was a frightening time for his family, who could not be there by his side due to necessary safety precautions. But Peter’s dedicated team of doctors, nurses and other caregivers worked 24/7 to ensure that his family was personally involved every step of the way.

Peter’s team worked tirelessly to deliver the specialized care he needed to pull through, but that didn’t keep them from providing the emotional support his family relied on. “The separation due to COVID was so difficult, but the nurses and doctors became the connective pieces,” said AnneMarie. “They were always willing to take my call, understand my questions, and if they didn’t have the answers, they assured me they’d get them — and they always did.”

Their daughter Ashley, who is a clinical nurse at MMC, added, “The entire health care team — the nurses, the doctors, the techs, and all the specialists who took on my Dad’s case — each played a key role and never lost sight of listening to us and being inclusive, compassionate and attentive.”

Dr. Patricia Stogsdill

Dr. Patricia Stogsdill

Our Approach to Patient-Centered Care

“It was an incredible team effort. The hospitalists were phenomenal about keeping the family up to date. Every day we would round together — the critical care doctor, the nurse, the social worker, the respiratory therapist. We did a lot of video talks — it was like rounding at the bedside with the family. And the pharmacists were invaluable…we could not have done this without them. There are a lot of behind-the-scenes people who make all these things happen.” — Dr. Patricia Stogsdill, Infectious disease specialist

Ashley Jardine at MMC nursing station

This experience provided Ashley with a new perspective. “As a nurse, I know my purpose is to relieve people’s suffering. That’s a huge responsibility and an honor. Being the daughter of a critically ill patient and having the tables turned reminded me to put compassion and empathy at the forefront when caring for my patients and their families.”

While Peter has little recollection of his time at MMC, he shared, “Coming out of ICU, it took a while for me to process just how sick I really was, but I truly appreciate everyone who cared for me.” He added, “Every time someone came in the room, they had to put their PPE (personal protective equipment) on — and it’s not a simple process. I could see them through the window. I wish I could thank everybody for all they did.”

Peter Jardine Waving A Grateful Goodbye As He Departed MMC To Return Home In April

Peter continues to recover at the family’s new home in Dresden. He coordinates his specialist visits with his primary care provider and uses the MyChart tool to view test results and his electronic health record. He also is taking time to enjoy the simple pleasures of Maine life again with his family.

Assembling a world-class care team wasn’t something the Jardine family planned for in their moving checklist, but it was there when they needed it. “This experience with COVID really brought it home to me and our family,” said AnneMarie.

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