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Celebrating Our People – Meet Justin

Celebrating Our People – Meet Justin

July 17, 2023 Posted in: Patients & Providers  3 minute read time

Making Memorable Moments

Flaget Memorial Hospital house manager Justin Robertson says helping a terminal patient marry his fiancée while in the hospital was a special day.

Arranging the bride’s favorite flowers, white roses, a cake and balloons for the couple to celebrate their nuptials, Justin said you could feel the energy change in the room.

“He went from a guy who was ready to die to a guy who was full of energy and life,” Justin says. “I could only hope I could have that in my last days because they were living in that moment, and it was really special.”

Justin says he made a connection with this patient during previous admissions. He understood the patient when many may not have, sharing in their commonalities as former marines.

“But when his fiancée was there, he softened immediately,” Justin describes. “She was the person he wanted to be there for.”

Justin says the patient had multiple admissions leading up to the impromptu wedding day; he recalls the patient coming in with his health deteriorating more with each visit. While the couple discussed end-of-life planning, they decided they would get married before he passed away. With this, Justin went into action to give them a memorable wedding day.

“That set me on a path,” Justin says.

More than a year after this extraordinary act of humankindness, Justin reflects that it is a memorable moment, but he focuses on the present, moving on to the next patient or nurse in need of his help. 

Supporting the Patient Journey

Justin says his experience as an open-heart recovery nurse taught him the importance of being present and focusing on what he can do: treat the patient and support the family.

“My time in open-heart recovery helped me understand the journey of patient care,” Justin says. "Oftentimes, when you’re taking care of the sickest of the sick, you’re doing everything you can to keep them alive. But in the back of your mind, you know there’s a chance they may not survive. And I did that day in and day out for years."

“I learned you’re there as a mediator who helps the patient to come to terms with their situation and the family find closure, especially in knowing we did everything we could and the patient fought the toughest fight.”

Serving to Lead

Justin has been house manager at Flaget for five years, and has served in many different roles, from bedside nurse to nurse educator, prior to his current position.

A Bardstown native and self-described family guy, Justin dedicates his life to his work and his family. He is married to his wife of 20 years and has two kids. Justin says he’s incredibly proud of his children, one of whom is currently in college pursuing a degree in aerospace engineering and the other who is in trade school to become an electrician.

“My focus is making sure they accomplish their dreams and are set up for themselves,” Justin says. “I’m a family guy; that’s who I am.”

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