When 14-year-old Noah Ludtke was first diagnosed with leukemia, he was scared.
“The first day that I took care of him was the day he was diagnosed,” said Michelle Yim, RN. “He was super withdrawn and very anxious and very scared. You couldn’t get a word out of his mouth.”
Noah didn’t want to talk to anybody, he just wanted to be with his family and Kaiser Permanente helped make that happen. Shannon Ludtke, Noah’s mom, is grateful that she is able to stay with him during his treatments.
“We basically move in,” said Shannon. “Sometimes I get to sleep on this amazing bed because we get a room with two beds. And sometimes when they’re really busy then I get to sleep on the not-so-awesome — but I’m still thankful for — couch.”
Noah’s care team at Kaiser Permanente Zion Medical Center — including nurse manager Carol Kelly, RN; Michelle Yim, RN; Jennifer Friedman, RN; and Jennifer Lindsley, RN — worked with him to ease his anxiety and develop a safe, caring space for him to feel more empowered and informed. They also helped to advance a collaborative effort between departments to offer deep sedation during painful procedures. As Shannon and Noah spent more time with the nurses, Noah started opening up.
“The nurses are really great,” Noah said. “If you call them on the button, no matter what it is they’ll figure out something. Or they’ll take you to the game room and if they have free time, they’ll play board games with you.”
“We actually have a relationship with them instead of just having a doctor-patient [relationship],” said Shannon. “It’s more like they become part of your family.”