MEDINA, Ohio (CBS Local) — A nurse in Ohio is being hailed for going above and beyond to give one last surprise to a hospital patient being moved to hospice care.
Annamarie Berg has worked at Cleveland Clinic Medina Hospital for about a year. One of her patients, Irene Rusipajla, had been in and out of the hospital for months. She was about to go home for hospice care when Berg surprised her with a heartwarming gift.
“She came and sat down and she was speaking to mom,” Rusipajla’s daughter-in-law, Michelle Naypauer, told WEWS. “She started to tell her do you remember that song, ‘Goodnight Irene,’ and mom nodded and she started to play it.”
As Berg sang to Rusipajla, nurses, doctors and Rusipajla’s family members in the room were moved to tears.
A loved one's final days are never easy.
— ClevelandClinicNews (@CleClinicNews) February 25, 2020
“There wasn’t a dry eye in the house,” Naypauer said.
Berg, who minored in music in college, said she got the idea a few weeks before she surprised Rusipajla.
“One night when I was leaving I looked at her and I said goodnight Irene and I said ‘Do you know the song?’ and I sang a couple bars of the song, and she smiled and I knew then that I’d had this connection with her,” she said.
Rusipajla died a few weeks later at home with her family. Berg was able to attend Rusipajla’s memorial.
“In a world where it’s so bad, this is just so wonderful. She’s just our guardian angel,” Naypauer said.