The best guardian angels: an outstretched hand to celebrate the last moments of life

The best guardian angels: an outstretched hand to celebrate the last moments of life


Chantal Lapointe

  • Nurse
  • Worked for 10 years in palliative care at the 'Hôpital du Centre-de-la-Mauricie

Chantal Lapointe accompanies families to live the last breath of their loved one with dignity, by entering in their greatest intimacy on tiptoe.

After working in the emergency room, she promised herself that she would finish her nursing career with end-of-life patients.

“In palliative care, there is a specific goal. We take care of the patient and not of the disease,” says the 58-year-old woman.  

For 10 years, Ms. -de-la-Mauricie, in Shawinigan, with a touch that made him famous.

“Here, respect is written in big letters”, says the one who lets herself be guided by her experience and her feelings.  

Often, she welcomes families who arrive crying and shouting. “My role is to lead them on their journey,” this “angel” shares. of the unit where she works.  

Their moment  

Louis Flageole had just received a real “sledgehammer blow” when his spouse, suffering from generalized bowel cancer, was transferred to palliative care last June. His stay lasted only three days.

   It was the end, there was nothing more to do , says Mr. Flageole with emotion.  < /p>

Mrs. Lapointe's explanations of his wife's journey comforted him. The nurse relieved the patient's pain and pampered her.  

“It was an unforgettable life experience that will mark us forever,” he says.   

Ms. Lapointe finds it important to leave all the room for families and patients, so that everyone can experience this journey in their own way. “It's their time,” she insists. 

Her dedication led her to organize a reunion for a patient who wanted to see a child again before leaving in peace .

She helped another publicize his decision to seek medical assistance in dying. Since this is permitted at the end of life, she sometimes offers patients and their families to serve them a beer or a glass of wine to lighten the mood.  

« We have a lot of fun and we also cry,” she says.  

Last desire  

Mrs. Lapointe keeps a fond memories of a husband who wanted his wife to die in his arms, safe, like in the movie Les pages de notre amour(The Notebook). 

When she saw that the lady's condition was suddenly declining, she made sure that her husband of the past 60 years was present. The latter lay beside his wife, until his last breath.  

   She died in my arms  nurse, heartbroken, but lightened.  

Helping people fulfill their last wishes, Ms Lapointe finds her work very rewarding. “Sometimes it’s intense. It can't be explained, it's lived. » 

For her peers, she is an example of passion, generosity, authenticity and gentleness who always seeks to improve herself.  

“She is an inspiration to all of us who work alongside her,” says her colleague, Anie St-Louis. 

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