PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Nurses Make ‘Profound’ Connection With Family In Iran

This 2011 Facebook photo shows Sanaz Nezami, a native of Tehran, Iran, who could speak three languages and wanted to pursue and advanced degree in engineering at Michigan Technological University. Shortly after arriving in the U.S., police say she was the victim of a fatal beating by her new husband. (Facebook)

This 2011 Facebook photo shows Sanaz Nezami, a native of Tehran, Iran, who could speak three languages and wanted to pursue and advanced degree in engineering at Michigan Technological University. Shortly after arriving in the U.S., police say she was the victim of a fatal beating by her new husband. (Facebook)

Engineering student Sanaz Nezami, 27, was rushed to the hospital last month, after what police say was a brutal beating by her new husband. She was declared brain-dead shortly afterwards. Her family was in Iran.

The nurses who cared for her looked her up online and found her family. They set up video messaging so the family could see that their daughter was being well cared for in her final days.

To the nurses, it was a profound experience. They became Sanaz’s substitute family, with family in Iran asking them to stroke Sanaz’s hair and kiss her forehead.

Hospital supervisor Gail Brandly says never in her 30-year career has someone done what Sanaz’s father did. He had nurses recite a prayer he’d written, as surgeons removed her organs for donation.

The prayer was “God, I give my daughter to you so that she may save many great lives, because we are all your children.” Sanaz’s organs saved the lives of seven people.

Brandly discusses the experience with Here & Now’s Robin Young.

Interview Highlights: Gail Brandly

On connecting the Nezami family with their daughter

“This is a parent’s worse nightmare come true. And every parent just wants to know that their child is – if they are hurt, they’re surrounded by people that care. And they want to be able to say goodbye to their child and they should have that opportunity. So we were bound and determined that we were going to make that possible. And this was a truly loving family, and there were many of them. I actually met many of the family members, and then eventually, it got to the point where we did discuss the organ donation. The moment I looked at this girl’s resume, I knew that she would want to be an organ donor. And her family didn’t hesitate. They said yes right away and truly believed in helping others.”

On what the experience meant to the nurses involved

“It really gave us a lot of faith in humanity. [The family] really taught us about the Muslim traditions, and they really taught us a lot about the humanity on the other side of the world. We’re basically the same people, and that’s the message that this family wants to get across and that’s what we believe. It was a pretty profound experience. I think that every nurse wants to be involved in situations that help people, and I just feel a great sense of inner peace that we were able to provide the family with good care at the end of life and the grieving process.”

“I’ve been a nurse for 30 years and I’ve been involved in organ donation – I’m actually the organ donation liaison at our hospital – and I’ve never had a family give me a prayer to read in the operating room. He asked us to read to the transplant team when they arrived before the recovery began, ‘God I give you my child, so that she may save many great lives, for we are all your children.’ And for a father, that just really gives you a sense of his character.”

On the impact of the organ donation

“It’s not just the seven lives that [Sanaz Nezami] saved, she also helped thousands of people. For one thing, everyone that loves those people are all affected by this transplant. She’s caused awareness, and has really done great things. I mean, she’s a hero.”

Guest


Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Spotlight

Throughout the week, Here & Now is looking at the impact a raise in the minimum wage would have on states, the federal government and workers.

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

A Candid Conversation With Public Radio’s Diane Rehm

The radio show host discusses her husband's illness and their often fraught marriage.

The Average Millennial Is Nothing Like The Stereotypes

Data shows that the average 29-year-old did not graduate from a four-year university and is living in a suburb.

Examining The Call For Increasing The Minimum Wage

Here & Now looks at the impact a raise would have on states, the federal government and workers themselves.

April 29 17 Comments

What’s A Delegate? And Why Do We Even Have Them In The First Place?

Here & Now's Robin Young speaks with Richard Pacelle, professor of political science at the University of Tennessee, to find some answers.