In 2015 I wrote a book called Resilient Hearts about a fictional Palliative Care Team.
For those of you who don't know what a Palliative Care team is, here is the short explanation: It is a healthcare team made up of individuals trained to help patients and families with any problems or issues that arise because of their hospitalization, treatment, disease, or anything that prevents them from from focusing on healing and/or overcoming their illness.
Pain management is a common focus, and so is helping patients and their families adjust to a terminal illness diagnosis and the associated necessary care they will need. All to often a Palliative Care team is called upon to comfort and support a patient who is dying and their family. Because of this a close association between Palliative Care and Hospice has occurred with other health care providers and society in general, often frightening patients and families away from the supportive services this team can provide.
Sorry, I meant to make the defining of a Palliative Care team short, so let me continue about my book. In 2015, I wrote a reference book based on the work I did to develop a teaching tool that identified the 5 most common issues a nurse can plan to address when caring for the dying. The tool was given the acronym CARES (Comfort, Airway, Restlessness and delirium, Emotional and spiritual support, and Self-care). I confirmed content and face validity of the tool for my Translational project required to obtain a Doctorate in Nursing Practice. Basically, I was able to show the tool was helpful and based in research.
I compiled all of my doctoral work and experience working with the dying, and wrote a reference book about the development and use of the CARES Tool that was published through Springer Publishers. The book was given the long title of: Compassionate Person -Centered Care of the Dying: An Evidence Based palliative Care Guide for Nurses. It won a Best of 2015 book award, and I actually got a residual check a few months ago!!! But, I digress....
I wanted to provide patient care examples throughout the book to emphasize the compassion and empathy provided by Palliative Care teams. I soon found there were too many stories I wanted to share, So, I started a second book called Resilient Hearts. I opted to combine several stories and tie them into a novel that followed a specific patient in detail throughout their disease course, and I interjected other cases and personal and professional issues the Palliative Care team members were dealing with. I wanted to show the compassion and playfulness common for the group and their patients, and provide realistic examples of team work and the importance of communicating.
I was proud of the end results and hoped to use the book as a teaching tool, but quickly found many people will not/could not find the time to read. I decided to write a screenplay based on the book and dreamed of having a film to use as a teaching tool that could both educate and entertain.
It is now 2017 and the script spent most of the past two years lying dormant on my hard drive. Getting the book printed was a disaster. I went with Tate Publishing. They made a lot of promises they didn't keep, and did a lousy editing job, and they closed their doors this year, before we could take any legal action. I tried to get things moving on the film, but couldn't get anyone interested, yet alone to call me back. A lot of time was wasted just waiting for responses. My husband kept bringing up the possibility of doing an independent film and plans really took off when I met the perfect actor to play Michael, the lead in the movie, and he was actually excited about the project.
You must check out Timmy D. He is the lead singer of Pullman Standard and a very funny, compassionate, articulate, self-confident, sweetheart of a guy. In other-words he is Michael. From that point forward everything seems to be falling into place.
Check out www.resilientheartsproject.com and pullmanstandard.com.