Difficult Conversations Podcast
Lessons I Learned as an ICU Physician
Episode 104 | August 11, 2020
Surviving Infant Loss
Founder and Director or The Finley Project
Welcome to Difficult Conversations with Dr. Anthony Orsini. In today’s episode, we have a very special guest, Noelle Moore. Noelle is the Founder and President of the non-profit organization, The Finley Project. The Finley Project is the nation’s only 7-part Holistic Healing Program for mothers that experience infant loss. She also serves as a grief share facilitator and a Breaking Bad News instructor for The Orsini Way. Her story is guaranteed to inspire you and make you really think about the way you communicate with someone who has experienced the loss of a loved one.
Noelle shares her story about the loss of her precious baby girl Finley in 2013. Brace yourself, because what she went through, she hopes and prays that no one else will ever have to experience again. We learn about the conversation she had with one doctor, who made her “want to leave this earth”, compared to a second doctor, who showed compassion and empowered her – allowing her to make the most difficult decision of her life. After her life-changing tragedy, Noelle explains that she couldn’t find any help for “somebody like me”. That is why she made the decision to start The Finley Project in 2014.
Noelle tells us about the 7-part Holistic Program that The Finley Project offers and what it provides to mothers who lost a child. She discusses how she approaches the difficult conversations she has with mothers that need help. Some words of advice are given by Noelle and Dr. Orsini on what to say to parents and mothers after the loss of a baby. If you’ve ever tried to avoid a conversation because you don’t know what to say to someone, Dr. Orsini tells a story and explains “The Bushes Effect.” Listen to this podcast to learn more. If you liked this episode, please hit the subscribe button to find out more about what we do and how we teach communication. Go ahead and download this episode now!
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Noelle Moore (3s):
And to be honest with you, a lot of times, you know, you asked about that first conversation. It typically looks
like this. I’ll say things like, I cannot even believe that you’re having to deal with this. I cannot, I just don’t
understand. It sucks. It is awful. I just don’t get it. I mean, I, cause people would ask me, what do you say?
I’m like, that’s what I say. And then their walls come down. Cause you’re meeting them in a place that’s
ugly and it’s not pretty.
Noelle Moore (35s):
And they’re embarrassed. They finally can say to themselves, Oh my gosh, somebody gets it. I’m not
Welcome to difficult conversations lessons I learned as an ICU physician with Dr. Anthony Orsini. Dr. Orsini
is a practicing physician and president and CEO of the Orsini way as a frequent keynote speaker and author,
Dr. Orsini has been training healthcare professionals and business leaders. How to navigate through the
most difficult dialogues each week, you will hear inspiring interviews with experts in their field who tell their
story and provide practical advice on how to effectively communicate whether you are a doctor faced with
giving a patient bad news, a business leader who wants to get the most out of his or her team members or
someone who just wants to learn to communicate t his is the podcast for you.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (1m 24s):
Welcome everyone to this episode of difficult conversations. I’m so excited today because I get introduced to
you a truly amazing and inspiring person. You know, when I decided to launch this podcast, Noel was one of
the first people that I called to be a guest. I have to this episode and listening to what Noel has to say. I
promise you that our story will move you emotionally and inspire you to turn your own tragedy into something
good. If anyone can speak about difficult conversations and how they affect our lives, both in a positive and
negative manner, it is Noel.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (2m 1s):
You know, I’m so excited that I think I’m jumping ahead a little bit of myself here. So let me introduce Noel
properly. Noel is a lifelong central Floridian, Flo grown, as they say here in Florida, she attended the
prestigious Rollins college located right in our hometown of winter park at Rollins. She earned her degree in
marketing and communication, and she later returned to wrongs the receiver’s certificate of nonprofit
management. After experiencing the loss of her precious baby Findlay in 2013, Noel was forced to deal with
Dr. Anthony Orsini (2m 32s):
Few people could ever imagine, but somehow she was able to come out on the other side of darkness. And
later that year she started the nonprofit organization. The Findlay project, the Finley project is the nation’s
only seven-part holistic program for mothers. That experience infant loss. It is served nationwide hundreds of
families that represents 28 States and 78 hospitals around the country. The Finley project is a founding
member of the pregnancy and infant loss resource network of central Florida and participate in the national
organization, pregnancy loss and infant death Alliance.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (3m 5s):
Noel serves as a grief share facilitator and breaking bad news instructor for the her Sini way. And if that’s not
enough, Noel seems to find the time to become involved in her community. Noel’s a board member of the
winter park YMCA and as a member of the association for fundraising professionals and an active member
of the winter park chamber of commerce, as well as the rotary club of Lake Mary Noel was awarded the Paul
Hawkins lifetime achievement award in 2019 and led the Findlay project to win the 2017 and 2018 winter
park chamber of commerce ovations award in April, 2020, Noel was awarded Orlando family magazine, top
15 super women award.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (3m 47s):
That’s pretty incredible Noel doesn’t move far. She now resides in Maitland, Florida, just about five miles
from where she grew up. She loves the beach working out and serving families who have experienced loss.
That is quite an introduction. Noel,
Noelle Moore (4m 2s):
Thank you. What an introduction. That’s pretty awesome.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (4m 5s):
You deserve it. I mean, I, I don’t know. My introduction would probably be about one third of that. So you’ve
kind of quite accomplishments and all since 2013, but I mean, it’s amazing. So you’ve spent your whole life
in Florida. Never moved.
Noelle Moore (4m 17s):
No, I’ve actually moved around quite a bit. I landed here about seven years ago and I was out on the West
coast and San Diego and then went up to the mountains of North Carolina and then ventured back down.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (4m 30s):
So you’re back. And I didn’t know all that because I met Noel and full disclosure. Noel is a good friend of
mine. We met, I guess in 2015, I was doing breaking bad news programs in six or seven States when I
moved from New Jersey to Florida and I wanted to bring the breaking bad news program to Orlando health
and the breaking bad news program. For those of you who don’t know, we teach physicians how to discuss
tragic news with patients and families. And we use improvisational roleplaying with professional actors,
Dr. Anthony Orsini (5m 4s):
And then after the videotape improvisational roleplaying, the physicians get to come into a room, reviewed
the videotape with instructors, both from DRC anyway, but a key component of the breaking bad news
videos is that we use instructors that are nonmedical. So the physicians not only get the, here are some
communication tips from medical instructors, but from lay people, who’ve experienced tragedy themselves.
So one of the first things I did when I got to Orlando is I said, Hey, I want to bring breaking bad news here.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (5m 37s):
You know, who do you think would be a great instructor? And of course Noel’s name came up first. I think we
met in a little small conference room and the rest is history. Noel’s been a good friend of mine. She’s always
available when we teach. And I think at the end of this podcast, you are going to be pretty inspired. So that’s
how Noel and met. And I’m so excited. So Noel, I just want you to tell everybody your story because it is
quite a story and it’s moved me and it still touches me every time I hear it.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (6m 9s):
Tell me about 2013 and Finley and just let them know the story that I know.
Noelle Moore (6m 15s):
Absolutely. So kudos to dr. Or Sini or Tony, just for all the work that he’s doing, honestly. And the fact that
he’s asked me just to share my story today, because really it’s, it’s a hard one. And for those that are
listening, I would say kind of prepare yourself, embrace yourself because what I went through, I pray and
hope that nobody ever has to go through. But basically in 2013, you know, I was just a young professional,
like looking to live my best life and be successful and have a great career.
Noelle Moore (6m 50s):
But I was pregnant at that time, which I was super excited about always wanting to be a mom and just so
excited to have this little girl and her name is Finley, but in 2013, February, my dad passed away. And that
was my first encounter with grief of someone close to me. And I just didn’t know how you great. I was never
around grieving people. I was never taught the skills really to grieve. And I felt, I felt really blindsided with the
fact that the first person close to me to really die was my dad.
Noelle Moore (7m 22s):
And, but the crazy part was at that time I was pregnant. So I felt like I saw like the full circle of life. Like
here’s the end of an error. However, here’s the beautiful beginning of something new. And four months later
in July, I was full term and I was admitted into a local hospital and all the fabulous things that occur the day a
woman goes into to deliver a baby and everybody was happy and we were celebrating and the induction
Noelle Moore (7m 55s):
And after approximately 24 hours, there were some physicians OBS that made a decision that ultimately
changed my life and they left the property. And shortly thereafter, my daughter Findlay needed to come out
and I was rushed into the, or, or an emergency C section. And this is just the part of my story that I think is
very, very difficult. I think it’s what helps me connect with other people, but basically she needed to come out
and there was no one there.
Noelle Moore (8m 28s):
And there was no one there for a long time to do a C section. And there was a lot of trauma that happened at
that time and the things I saw and eventually after 40 minutes, a OB got there and did the emergency state
section and got her out and she was lifeless and pale. And just the most horrific thing I think a mother could
see and they resuscitated her and put her on life support. And that moment was started journey of all the
stuff that I’ll describe later.
Noelle Moore (8m 58s):
But, you know, seeing your daughter on life support and just not looking how she should is just absolutely
devastating. No one prepares you for that, just that, even that visual, but after 23 days and multiple EGS and
just different tests and whatnot, the doctors had to tell me that she will never walk or talk or know me. And as
her parents, we had to make a horrific, but I guess now a selfless decision. And that was to remove her from
life support. So, yeah, that was in 2013.
Noelle Moore (9m 30s):
And then part of my story that sometimes I don’t share, and I think that’s really important. I think it will be a
brilliant, important part of this conversation. Two weeks after she died, my husband made a choice to leave
and what ensued six months later was a divorce. And, you know, it’s just all of those things combined make
for a really, really difficult journey. But once again, I’m here today to help educate and help people know how
to navigate some of these hard conversations.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (9m 57s):
I could still have these years. And again, I can’t imagine what it would be like to lose a child, but I could just
hear the tone of your voice, just telling the story up to so many years. And I’m sure you’ve told this story
many, many times. So take us back. If you will, to the first conversation that you had with a physician or
maybe the first physician that told you how sick Finley was, as we say, the first physician that broke bad
news to you. And we know that parents and family members understand and remember every aspect of it.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (10m 33s):
So if you will just take the audience back to that time,
Noelle Moore (10m 38s):
You know, when I think about breaking bad news, I actually think about gradual can happen in different
ways, right? It actually can happen within a span of a few minutes, but actually can happen in a span of a
few days or weeks. And for me, that gradual was really important in the life, the little life of my daughter. And
I think planting the seeds early on, actually just in thinking of this, the fact that the doctors planted the seeds
early on and were very careful because they wanted to keep that hope alive.
Noelle Moore (11m 10s):
But behind the scenes, they all knew that she wasn’t going to bounce back and that there was no cure for
what happened to her. So when they would say things like, you know, you can be her mom and, you know,
we want you to give her a bath and be there with her, but you know, it’s just, she’s struggling. Like she’s
having a really difficult time without this oxygen. And then maybe I remember like a week later, the tone
started to change of their approach with her condition. You know, things aren’t looking good, this last EEG
was not good, you know, but you know, you can continue to spend time with her, et cetera.
Noelle Moore (11m 46s):
And then the third week, it got to the point where, you know, it was serious and you could tell by their, and
the words that they were using, that something had to give. And, you know, I can elaborate more about the
two conversations that like went well or I felt helped me in that process. And then I can share with you about
the one that was different. But I remember the first E G we did, we committed to doing three. And then after
that, we kind of knew we had to do something.
Noelle Moore (12m 19s):
So I remember standing in this dark NICU pod and a neurologist, I think it’s who it was. I don’t even
remember who it was. That’s, that’s how devastating it was. I had a person tell me news that changed my life
forever. And I don’t even know who they are. I mean, the thought of that is just, it’s terrible, but I was
standing there and looking at my daughter and somebody walked up and introduced themselves. They don’t
know their name and basically said, I’m looking at her results and there’s no brain activity and she’s dead.
Noelle Moore (12m 55s):
And you know, here you are looking at a 10 pound baby with every finger and every toe. And that just
doesn’t, it just doesn’t connect. The human brain is not able to absorb such an abrupt message, you know,
and I remember that day was probably the worst day for me, the way that she said it and how she said it.
And I had no rapport with this person. I honestly, in that, that moment, everything flashed before me and I
just, I wanted out, I remember saying I need out.
Noelle Moore (13m 27s):
And I went out on the garage parking garage of that hospital and I just, I wanted to run, like I just wanted to
run the information was so just smack dab in my face that I, my brain couldn’t process it. And so over the
next few days and whatnot, after some different conversations, we kind of fell into some piece and just tried
to enjoy our time with her. And then I had a neonatologist actually. And I remember where I was sitting. I can
remember the way the chair was facing. I can remember how small a room was.
Noelle Moore (13m 59s):
I remember the smell of the hand soap on the wall. And I was just sitting in this small room. It was actually a
lactation room, just for some peace in this particular neonatologist found me in there. And he said, can I talk
to you? And he knelt down next to my chair. And he said, you know, I love Finley. I love your family. And then
he started to cry and I remember his tears were dropping on his khaki pants. And he had just shared with me
that, you know, I know you love her, but you know, she, she will never will never walk or talk.
Noelle Moore (14m 37s):
And I know that you would want her to have a great life and that you would want the best for her, and you
wouldn’t want her to be in any pain or suffer. And so, you know, one of the most selfless, he used the word
selfless things you can do as her mommy is to let her go. And the tone that trust that I had built with him, the
rapport that we had, I believed him. And I believed his words. And the support that I felt from him ultimately
is what allowed us to take our off of life support.
Noelle Moore (15m 14s):
So two polar opposite ways of sharing horrific news, the first making me honestly wanting to leave this earth,
the second empowering me and allowing me to make the worst decision of my life.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (15m 32s):
Yeah, I am an emotional tie in person. And so even after all these years, I still get tears in my eyes. When I
hear that story as a neonatologist, I’ve had that conversation with parents more than once, and it never gets
easy. But as I said, in my first episode, these conversations affect you either on a positive or a negative
manner. So you don’t even remember that first doctor’s name, but I’ll bet you remember this.
Noelle Moore (15m 58s):
Am I allowed to say it? No.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (16m 2s):
Well, I’m not sure, but all I can say that there was a doctor that was there and for whatever reason, he
showed his compassion and we all have compassion, but I think some of us either push it down, thinking
that we’re protecting ourselves, but telling someone bad news, whether it’s in medicine or in business, if
you’re firing someone or whatever it is, is a skill.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (16m 32s):
And if you do it right, it’s a gift. And I learned that from you. And I learned that from other mothers and other
patients. And what do you think if you had that first doctor in the room with you right now, then you weren’t
allowed to hit her, but if you had the first doctor in the room right now, let’s say you and I were doing
breaking bad news together. And she was one of the participants. And what advice would you say to her in
comparison to the second doctor, as far as this is how you have a difficult conversation?
Dr. Anthony Orsini (17m 6s):
And I don’t mean like by the book, but what would you say from your heart is if you had just done this, or if
you had just thought of this, what would be your advice to her?
Noelle Moore (17m 17s):
I think, I think for her, it would have been setting the stage to know that something was about to be said, that
would be my number one thing, breaking bad news. Like she did standing up in the middle of a room. I had
no idea it was coming. So I think first for her would be say like, you know, can we step aside and talk? And
then secondly would be to build that instant rapport would be, you know, sitting across from me, like chair to
chair and just making eye contact and not being afraid of that conversation.
Noelle Moore (17m 52s):
So for me, what eye contact would say would be, I’m not afraid of this conversation. I need to say it, but I
need to say it with compassion. So I would say that’s the second thing. And then I think the third thing would
just be allowing me the space to just process, like in that moment, like just if I cried or yelled or whatever, I
had nowhere to go, I felt trapped. I felt when she hit me with that, I didn’t even, I didn’t know what to do. So I
would certainly say setting the tone, bringing me somewhere separate or making sure I’m sitting down.
Noelle Moore (18m 26s):
The second thing would be to make eye contact and, you know, lean into the conversation. And the third
would be just allowing me that space to grieve.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (18m 35s):
Yeah. You know, I think that as human beings know in months to make someone’s side and we’re
uncomfortable in certain situations, especially when we’re not trained. And I’ve said this before, even beings
are compassionate. People, physicians and nurses are compassionate people, but we get in these situations
where we don’t know what to say. We don’t know what to do. We don’t know how to help. And we feel like I
just gotta get it over with, you know? And you know, when I go around teaching communication to physicians
or business leaders, once you explained to them that communicating and especially during difficult
conversation, it’s a skill and you should be really proud of it that second doctor.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (19m 18s):
And I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but I I’m sure you would agree, but that second doctor gave you
a gift, right? It was a gift of compassion. And, you know, you said at one point you, so you remember the
tears hitting his khakis. And I think that’s, if we can think about difficult conversations as a skill, this is how
you do it. I’m really good at it. And I want to be good at it because I want to help people and we won’t rush
through it then. And I think that’s what this podcast is all about.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (19m 49s):
It’s about understanding how we communicate. It’s understanding the verbal nonverbal communications, you
know, even something like silence, right? I mean, you and I talked to physicians all the time about this, you
know, sitting there silently shows that you care, even if you don’t say anything, you know, I always quote,
during my lectures, rabbi Cushner, who wrote the book when bad things happen to good people, he’s got a
quote in there. He said, if you don’t know what to say, just say, you’re sorry. And then shut up.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (20m 19s):
You know? And we teach that all the time. Right. You know what, no. And I teach that all the time, like just
saying, you’re sorry. And sitting there with the person and being there and looking in their eyes, like you had
said makes all the difference. So, so you have a perfect contrast. And that’s why I thought you’d be great
guests here because you have a perfect contrast. And if anybody’s listening out there about how
communication during these difficult conversations can make things worse, like the first person and make
things better. But you came out on the other end and in 2013, the same year, right. You started the Findlay
Noelle Moore (20m 50s):
Yeah. And if it’s okay, I wanted to go back on something you said, because I think it can really help people.
You know, like I’m really big on the why, like, why does any of this matter? And we talk about this gift and
some people go, why is it a gift? It’s just easier to tell it quick that way they know, and then they can move
on and.it up. But what I’ve seen and I can’t claim to be, you know, a clinical psychologist or whatever, but in
my own life. And then, then the families we help is this fact that they’re already traumatized by the death
Noelle Moore (21m 22s):
And the last thing that they need is to have to go to counseling and get support because somebody was
cruel or shared with them information that was done in a non-compassionate way. So for me, the reason this
is the gift is because, because you’re showing them that you’re a piece of the compassionate pie in the
process and it really, really is a gift. So I just wanted to elaborate on the why it really is important. And the
other thing is like a lot of times, and we talk about this in the training, but in breaking bad news, but some of
the families that for us, that experienced death, or like you said, in a business setting, sometimes people are
apprehensive of, what’s been done to get them to the place that they are.
Noelle Moore (22m 8s):
So they’re already leery of the institution, the organization, the business. And so if you can be a part of, you
know, the good part, the good experience that they have with that institution, then there’ll be less likely to
retaliate. There’ll be less likely to accuse. There’ll be less likely to make things more difficult for you on the
Dr. Anthony Orsini (22m 31s):
That’s a great point. Even in business, we’re going to have a guest, Dr. Larry Barton, who’s one of the
leading experts in crisis management and dr. Barton and his latest book actually talks about how human
resource people have that conversation with an employee who’s being separated and how that can predict in
many ways, whether that person comes back and becomes violent to the hospital. So I think that’s a great
point. So now we’ve gone through this total darkness that you talked about and you had the two difficult
Dr. Anthony Orsini (23m 4s):
How did you get to that point? Because it was the same year. You were able to get food to the other side and
start at the Finley project in the same year, correct?
Noelle Moore (23m 12s):
Yes and no. So when she died, the reality is I couldn’t find any help for somebody like me. And I say like me
in quotations, but where does a woman go? Who’s lost an infant that has plenty of great friends and family
and has some resources, but not a lot, but like where does somebody like me go that can find somebody
that’s walked that road? And I couldn’t find that. And I was just, you want to talk about adding fuel to the fire
that added fuel to the fire? I already felt like an outsider to all my friends who were having children.
Noelle Moore (23m 46s):
And so now I’ve lost this child now. I can’t find anybody like me. And so it started me just looking around and
researching and calling and things like that for help. And I obviously got my own help, which included
counseling and going to support groups. But in that process, that’s when I started researching to see what
was out there. And that’s where I discovered this huge gap. I say, there’s a huge gap between the hospital
and the home because nobody steps into that.
Noelle Moore (24m 16s):
I feel very well. And so that’s how the family project started. It started because I noticed the gap between the
hospital home. And so for that next year after her death, I got a lot of help for myself and also started to build
a foundation for the organization. So in 2014, the Findlay project launched when, as you shared earlier, we
are actually the only organization in the whole country that addresses, you know, body, mind, spirit,
spirituality, all of it together.
Noelle Moore (24m 48s):
So yeah, we started officially in 2014.
3 (24m 51s):
So I mentioned in the introduction that it’s a seven part holistic program. So tell me more about that.
Noelle Moore (24m 57s):
Sure. So the people ask me this question a lot. You know, this is all based on my own findings. And what’s
funny is what I thought was really what people needed. Isn’t what they needed. And initially, all I wanted to
do was provide counseling for people because who can afford counseling. I mean, well, the average person
cannot afford 80 to $150 a session. And especially after loss, I mean, it is so needed, but basically the first
person I tried to help, they were not open to counseling at that time.
Noelle Moore (25m 31s):
And their response to me was, you know, listen, I been living in this on-property housing, you know, place
while my daughter was in the NICU, she’s died after three months and I don’t even have food in my pantry.
My house is gross. I don’t care about myself or my body. Like I just counselings the last thing I need right this
second. So that’s what made me take a step back and say, what were all the things that I was a recipient of?
What were the things that other people benefited from?
Noelle Moore (26m 3s):
And so that’s how the seven parts were developed and what that looked like was helping plan their funeral. A
lot of times people don’t even know, like what does a child’s funeral look like? So we help them, the funeral,
we provide meal gift cards so they can feed their family. And the next thing we help with is we send out
house cleaners to their house. The fourth thing we do is we provide massages just to provide a moment of
peace and relaxation. Then we connect them with a support person.
Noelle Moore (26m 35s):
So we try to find somebody that has walked a similar road and had somewhat of a similar experience just to
be there with them and help them navigate strange journey. And then the bulk of what we do is eventually
get them into licensed mental health counseling. And so we cover 12 sessions. So whether we do it, or if
they have insurance, we just make sure that they get into counseling and that it’s something that’s a good fit
for them. So, yeah, that’s the whole program in a nutshell.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (27m 4s):
And I can attest personally, what I amazing program is I’ve referred. When I see a mother who’s had a loss
or mother who I’ve been treating the baby, and that is having a difficult time as they all do. Noel knows that I
have her cell phone on speed dial and I called Noel and Noel takes it from there. And it’s amazing things. I
go to the Finley project gala every year, the fundraising gala. And you do a great thing. And that you have
mothers who, who were in the darkest places that you’ve helped come and give little 10 minute speeches
about how the Findlay project.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (27m 40s):
And there’s usually not a dry eye in the place. And I think that’s just wonderful. I’m really interested in the
conversation that you have, you know, I call you and I say, Noelle, here’s a mom was agreed to have you
call her. And then I don’t know what happens next. I mean, I know that they get help from you, but boy, that’s
gotta be a really difficult conversation when you call that mom up or offer your help. How do you approach
that? And how, tell me how that works and give some tips.
Noelle Moore (28m 11s):
I don’t think there’s a harder conversation than telling someone that their loved one has died. So if we can
learn how to do this, we can do it at any situation. And what that looks like is taking a step back and saying
to yourself, I’m about to tell somebody or approach somebody that has gone through the most horrific thing
that they can go through. So I need to do it carefully and I need to have a very careful conversation with
them. So I think just the fragile oddity of that conversation and knowing that before you go in, so that what
that doesn’t look like is calling when you’re driving in the car or calling while you’re, you know, playing golf,
you know, having this real Kurt or, you know, quick conversation with them.
Noelle Moore (28m 57s):
So for me, when I know I have to talk to a mom, I make sure I’m calm. I’m quiet. Every word does matter.
Even after they’ve had the loss and for me, I’m able to relate to them. So I go back to that experience. So I
try to put myself back to what I went through for somebody that hasn’t gone through, that I would say, just
being really open and compassionate and saying just encouraging and empathetic words is really helpful.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (29m 26s):
Yeah. That’s, that’s a difficult conversation to have. Absolutely. You know, you said a couple things that I
really want to reemphasize. One is that, you know, you’ve gone through this and so you share your story
with them, correct?
Noelle Moore (29m 43s):
I don’t know if it’s so much share it. I think it’s allowing myself to remember what it felt like. I think for people
that have to do this breaking bad news is go back to a time where something bad was said to you or hard
was said to you, and how did it feel? Whether it was, they did it well, or they didn’t do it well. And so how
would you want it broken to your, how would you want that conversation? What would you want that
conversation to look like? And to be honest with you, a lot of times, you know, you asked about that first
conversation. It typically looks like this.
Noelle Moore (30m 13s):
I’ll say things like, I cannot even believe that you’re having to deal with this. I just don’t understand. It sucks.
It is awful. I just don’t get it. I mean, I, cause people always ask me, what do you say? I’m like, that’s what I
say. And then their walls come down. Cause they you’re meeting them in a place that’s ugly and it’s not
pretty. And they they’re embarrassed. They finally can say to themselves, Oh my gosh, somebody gets it. I’m
not embarrassed like that.
Noelle Moore (30m 44s):
I feel so bad.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (30m 46s):
Exactly. And I’ll say, when I speak to parents too, and I’ve learned from you and from other mothers and
family members that I do say that this is terrible. This sucks. Not very professional to use that word, but I say
it, yeah, this sucks. And you don’t deserve this. And it’s important to tell them, and maybe you could
elaborate on this and it’s not their fault. Some people think there must’ve been something, you know, through
the years I’ve been doing this, telling a mother that it’s not her fault seems to, you can see it a little relief in
Dr. Anthony Orsini (31m 20s):
When you say that, because I’ve heard different things from, you know, I’ve, shouldn’t have gone up the
stairs so fast or I shouldn’t have worked as stuff that’s not rational, but as a mother, you’re going to be
thinking about that. So just saying, and acknowledging that it’s not their fault, I think makes a, makes a big
Noelle Moore (31m 39s):
I can elaborate a little more on that. Like I think it’s a lifelong of pressing that guilt down and I had a mentor
tell me at that time you did everything you knew to do. And he would make me repeat it over and over and
over. And what that did was, you know, hindsight is 2020 for everybody in every situation. But it made me
remember that at that time I picked the best hospital. At that time, I picked the best doctors at that time. I
was as healthy as I knew to be et cetera. So just repeating that over and over to myself, helped a lot.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (32m 11s):
Do you find that people are that sometimes you have to share your story, that initially people are reluctant to
ask you for help, but that once you share your story with them, they maybe feel a little bit more acceptable to
getting help. Tell me about that.
Noelle Moore (32m 27s):
You know, infant loss, child loss is an elephant in the room. It’s people’s worst nightmare. And all of us had a
hard time trusting anybody after it, whether it was, you know, there was a fault a physician or if it was just,
you know, not trusting life in general. And when I can build that rapport with them and say like, I know your
neighbor doesn’t understand, but I do on some level, not fully, but on some level, once again, the wall comes
down and in your mind you say, okay, I found one of my people, it’s a weird experience, but it’s like finding
Noelle Moore (33m 5s):
And it’s a tribe that like who in the world was signed up for. But once you find it, you’re like, ah, I need these
people because they get it.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (33m 12s):
It’s an amazing, and, and I’m, I’m so passionate as you know about helping people communicate better. You
said something before that, I say all the time, you know, if you can have this discussion, everything else
seems to be easy. And that’s, that’s my personal story that, you know, once I learned how to have that
discussion about a baby who died with a family and I learned to do that as best as you could, because you’re
only making a horrible situation, maybe a little bit better at the very least you’re not making it worse.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (33m 48s):
Right. And that’s why business people and nonmedical people have come to me and say, you know, can you
teach us how to communicate? It’s cause it’s not bad news. Right? You know, I do a lot of work at the RC
anyway, with patient experience, not bad news, just how to build a practice. How do you build rapport with
somebody? How do you connect? Well, it’s the same concepts of verbal nonverbal language showing
compassion. Even if it’s, you know, a broken leg or something that’s not devastating.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (34m 20s):
So I thought it was interesting that you used that because I say that all the time, if you can, this is the
hardest conversation in the world. If you can get through this, you can get through anything. And then just
finishing up. There’s so many people out there that are friends and family who maybe avoid that
conversation. They don’t know what to say to you. Right? And there was a book that I read, someone lost his
child. He said he called it the bushes effect. He said, he noticed that once he lost his baby and his son died,
that the neighbors would see him pull into the driveway and jump into the bushes because they didn’t know
what to say.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (34m 56s):
And so for the average person out there, who’s not dealing with, maybe it’s not medical. Maybe doesn’t give
difficult conversations or have be involved in them frequently. I think you can learn from your experiences
from this podcast, just, you know, when someone dies in your family, what to say and how to say it. And I
think you’ve given some, some great tips. So I am, I mean, all of you, you know that, right? So, so I’m
blessed to know you.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (35m 26s):
I want the Findlay project to be available to every mother in the country. I want your project to grow. And
because I think it’s needed that you have shed some light on how much of the conversation can really
change your life, both in a positive and a negative manner. And so I just want to say, thank you. If people
want to learn more about the Finley project, they can go to www.thefinleyproject.org and contact either Noel
directly or someone from the Finley project, if you want to donate.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (36m 6s):
So are you looking to expand the well, I mean, how are we going to make this be nationwide? I mean, you’re
already in so many areas, but we want to help thousands, not hundreds, right? How can we do that?
Noelle Moore (36m 16s):
The best way that people can help the Findlay project would be if you have an area hospital that you have a
relationship with is to help us get into that hospital, to help educate the physicians and the social workers
and, and whatnot, to then be able to refer to us. We’re solely based in Orlando. So we have one chapter, but
the way that our program is since we use national partners, we’re able to help everywhere. We are
technically a nationwide, but we need more connections within each hospital and hospital system.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (36m 46s):
Fantastic. Well, as you know, I’m a big fan. I want to thank you again. This was an awesome interview. If you
liked this episode or you want to learn more about difficult conversations, please go ahead and hit that
subscribe button. You can also learn more about difficult conversations and The Orsini Way in the training
that we do by going to The Orsini Way.com. Thank you, Noel. Hope to see you soon and stay safe.
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Dr. Anthony Orsini
For More Information:
It’s All In The Delivery: Improving Healthcare Starting With A Single Conversation by Dr. Anthony Orsini