'Heartbeat in a bottle' provides loved ones with everlasting memory

Nurses at CMC are learning to do something new that they hope will benefit patients' loved ones.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Nurses at Carolinas Medical Center are learning to do something new — something that they hope will benefit patients' loved ones. 

It's called heartbeat in a bottle. 

Danny Haulk still struggles to talk about his wife of 31 years. 

"She was just happy, really happy. I haven't recovered, I'm still working through this," he said. 

A nurse for her entire adult life, his wife died in December after a three-year battle with cancer. 

"Oh boy, she was everything to me," Haulk said. 

Thanks to the nurses at CMC, he still has a piece of her with him, always. 

“I didn't realize how impactful it could be,” Charis Mitchell explains.

She’s the nurse that made what’s called a heartbeat in a bottle, which is a patient's last heartbeat printed out and placed inside a tiny bottle. 

"Every single one is different, that's what makes it so special," Mitchell said. 

Danny wears his wife's around his neck. 

"We're beating together, we're still beating together," he said. "We're together in spirit and soul mates, and I love her very much."

A few of the nurses at CMC have quietly done it over the years for loved ones of a few hundred patients, but have recently realized they should do it as often as they can.

Mitchell says,”To hear that it's a part of his everyday life, it's a beautiful thing to me.”

It's now Haulk's most prized possession. 

“It’s just a fabulous thing to have and I’ll cherish it forever.”

© 2017 WCNC.COM


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