Our mother was in the hospital with a diagnosis of certain death. Doctors kept insisting that she only had a very short time to live. Furthermore, the only treatment plan they recommended was discharge from acute care to hospice care. The diagnosis was not clearly stated to us. The proposed care plan did not seem to be the only option given her quality of life before the hospitalization or her improvement over the course of the stay. We engaged Melynda to help us communicate our concerns to the doctors and hospital staff. Melynda was able to support our family by scheduling very effective family, doctor, and hospital staff meetings that brought all the caregivers together to clearly explain the diagnosis and explore options other than hospice care. Her participation in the family meetings brought a third party viewpoint from a medical profession that was invaluable to understanding the options that were available to Mom. With Melynda’s help we were able to have Mom discharged to a rehabilitation facility. Melynda monitored her care and progress at the rehab facility ensuring that proper care was continued to be delivered, especially clarifying medications, oxygen administration and respiratory treatments. Our mother is now home and doing well. Thank you, Melynda! — C.P. Sacramento

My name is Chantal and my twin sister walked into the hospital with backache in June 2017 and came out paralyzed from the chest down due to a staph infection. It was a horrific experience for my sister, me and our family. My sister spent 3 months in the hospital, one of which was in the ICU. She had surgery, a collapsed lung, a tracheotomy and was on a ventilator and had numerous other issues.

Melynda came to the hospital on a regular basis and helped my sister and us understand, in layman’s terms, what was happening and what her treatment options meant. She also helped us learn about sterile protocol when my sister had the tracheotomy and needed it cleaned/cleared regularly. At one point, Melynda stopped the respiratory therapist who had violated sterile protocol, saving my sister from further infection. At a point in my sister’s treatment, she was transferred to another facility. Melynda arranged the ambulance transport and rode with Christy, keeping her safe and calm. She also introduced herself to the new hospital staff and brought them up to speed on my sister’s conditions and needs. She also arranged a team/family meeting for the heads of each department caring for my sister to meet with me, my nephew and our aunt to ensure we were clear on expectations and level of care. That was amazing and brought so much information and understanding for us all.

In short, Melynda is our angel. We are so incredibly thankful for her kindness, her knowledge, her tenacity and advocacy, and her genuine concern for my sister’s well-being, dignity and recovery. Melynda is like family now and we are forever grateful to her for everything. Chantal, Lincoln CA.

To say I’m grateful to Melynda Ruckels is an understatement.  While I was hospitalized Melynda comforted me by explaining my care in layman’s terms and made sure I was treated with respect and dignity. C.P. Roseville