Millie’s Story

Nurturing the Soul: Millie’s Journey

Millie was a 69-year-old woman who was admitted into hospital for a knee replacement. She then developed a stubborn infection in her new joint, one that refused to relent.

When I met Millie, she had already been hospitalised for three months. A psychiatrist had suggested spiritual care as Millie was becoming increasingly depressed and refusing treatment, including anti-depressants. This was extremely distressing because if Millie continued to refuse treatment, she would develop sepsis and die. 

A Ray of Hope on a Cloudy Day

Millie told me one of her biggest worries was her husband’s ability to maintain their one-acre garden. She had not been outside in natural light for the entire time she had been in hospital. If Millie had been home, there was no chance that she would have stayed inside for three whole months.

Sensing that Millie would love nothing more than to venture outdoors, I asked Millie if she would like to do so. However, she was quick to reply, saying, “That can’t happen.” Wanting to explore possibilities for Millie, I spoke to the nurse unit manager and physiotherapist to see if this could be arranged.

Reconnecting with Nature, Rekindling the Spirit

On my next visit, something miraculous had transpired! Millie was smiling, laughing, and showed me photos of her amazing garden. Most importantly, she had agreed to and started a new treatment plan. This remarkable transformation was all because she was now going outside every day to nurture her soul in nature.

Thank you to Catherine on Wiradjuri Country, the spiritual care practitioner who shared this authentic story with us. To respect the privacy and confidentiality of the patient, we have chosen not to disclose their real name.

Click here to read another story of spiritual care.