access intranet after hours circle-arrow apply blog caret circle arrow close closer look community outreach community outreach contact contact us down arrow facebook lock solid find a provider find a clinical trial find a provider find a researcher find faculty find-a-service how to apply join leadership left arrow locations logo make a gift map location maximize minimize my chart my chart notification hp notification lp next chevron right nxt prev pay your bill play previous quality and safety refer a patient request a speaker request appointment request an appointment residents corner rss search search jobs Asset 65 submit a story idea symptom checker Arrow Circle Up twitter youtube Dino Logo External Link University Logo Color University Logo Solid Health Logo Solid Arrow Right Circle Book Calendar Date Calendar Search Date Diploma Certificate Dollar Circle Donate Envelope Graduation Cap Map Pin Map Search Phone Pills Podcast
Artists rendering of the view of the Shawn Jenkins Children's Hospital from the Ashley River

Palliative care: Support for the entire family

John Nash
October 15, 2018
Charlotte Williams with parents Jillian and Steve
Steve and Jillian with their daughter Charlotte

Born nine weeks early, Charlotte Williams spent 84 of her 93 days at MUSC Children’s Hospital, battling a series of infections, lung problems, and bleeding and swelling in the brain.

Finally, her little body could not take any more. Her doctor sat down with her parents, Jillian and Steve, to share Charlotte’s heartbreaking prognosis. Together, they partnered with the palliative care team to help guide her end-of-life care.

“We didn’t know what to do or think, and they took us under their wing and guided us fully through the two most difficult days of our lives,” said Jillian. “Finally, they offered to bring in a bed for us on the last day of Charlotte’s life so we could all snuggle together like a family. Never did I imagine that I’d be able to lay in bed with my sweet daughter and forget, if only for a moment, that we were in a hospital.”

On July 14, 2016, Charlotte passed away peacefully, lying in bed with her parents by her side.

“I asked my husband recently, ‘What if they didn’t have palliative care? What would we have done?’ said Jillian. “They helped turn those three scary months into the most beautiful moment we could ever wish for. We’ll always be grateful for that.”

About the Author

John Nash