School Nursing

The Relentless School Nurse: I Was The Nurse Who Played Cards

I am sharing a message from a nurse who played cards. Her name is Joyce Murphy-Vandersommen, a surgical nurse and high school friend. This message is reprinted with Joyce’s permission.

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Joyce Murphy Vandersommen

Yes, I was the nurse who played cards with a dying patient at night, my son. I would wake up in the morning and go to work and not have a free moment as I tried to heal and comfort someone else’s mother, father, son, sister brother and daughter. Knowing I was going to lose my own son, I still gave my all to yours.

I prayed and I cried with many patients and their families for those who did not make it. I comforted their families as my own heart was breaking for I felt their pain. Yet once again I would play cards with that young man, my youngest son I could not save.

One year later it was those card playing nurses who resuscitated my husband three times in hopes to keep him alive until I could get to him to say goodbye. I didn’t make it for I was caring for someone else’s love of their life while I lost mine.

Before you speak offensive words remember you know not the battles and the demons we live with. You or your loved ones will need us one day. Although you have offended us and belittled us we will answer the call and leave the ones we love to care for the ones you love.I thank God for the nurses who did all they could and promise I will continue to do all I can.

Tim Vandersommen
Ryan Vandersommen
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Tim and Ryan Vandersommen are buried together in Arlington National Cemetery

1 thought on “The Relentless School Nurse: I Was The Nurse Who Played Cards”

  1. Thank you Joyce Murphy Vandersommen for playing cards and voicing how nurses suffer their own personal losses despite always being there for their patients and families. I send you strength! #nurseswhoplaycards

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