Nov 19, 2021

Hospice nurse’s videos go viral after sharing what most people say before they die

Hospice nurse TikTok

“Death will happen to everyone,” says ‘Hospice nurse Julie’, encouraging viewers to follow her TikTok channel to learn more. 

“We’re all going to die. Even me,” she says in her post.

In one video, Julie revealed the most common thing she hears people say at the very end of life.

“The best part about my job is educating patients and families about death and dying, as well as supporting them emotionally and physically,” she explains.

“Also, helping them to understand what to expect is another part of my job as a hospice nurse.

In another video, Julie explains the tendency for some people to ‘rally’ towards the end of their life. The video has been watched by 5.4 million people.

“There’s something that happens at the end of life that we call ‘the rally,” Julie says.

“This is when someone is really sick and almost actively dying, meaning dying within a few days, and then suddenly they look like they are better.”

She continued, “This can manifest in a lot of different ways, but a lot of times they’ll suddenly eat, they’ll talk, maybe even walk. They act like their old selves. They have a bit more of a personality, laughing, talking, joking, but then usually they die within a few days, even sometimes that night.”

Julie said about one third of her hospice patients experience a rally, so they try to educate families about the experience in advance so they don’t gain false hope.

In another popular video, Julie describes the changes that occur just before a person dies.

“Breathing patterns change towards the end of life during the actively dying phase, which is usually a few hours to a few days before death,” she said.

“Changes in skin colour, which is also called mottling – where the extremities turn a little purple – also is something people think indicates something is wrong, but it doesn’t.

“Terminal secretions, AKA the death rattle … this is just a collection of a small bit of saliva in the back of the throat that just sounds really bad.

“Fever happens a lot too because we lose the ability to control the core temperature, so our temperature will fluctuate at the end of life.

“Again, it’s all very normal and part of the death and dying process if you are dying naturally at home.”

TikTok has more than 1 billion users today, and it is the most downloaded app on Apple devices. The Chinese-owned platform gained in popularity all over the world during lockdowns, and is increasingly being used by younger people as a source of information, even extending to death and dying.

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