Nancy was my mother’s oncology nurse during her battle with lymphoma, MDS, and subsequently leukemia until her death in July 2012. My mother was under Nancy’s care for almost nine years, and I believe a lot of my mother’s initial success with her illnesses was due to Nancy’s kindness, compassion, and strong ability to convey exactly what was happening in terms we all understood. As a widow, my mother relied on my sister and me to attend her frequent hospital visits. Therefore, we came to know Nancy very well. So well, in fact, that we called her our “third sister’’ since she was always there as a strong support system to us. Nancy never hesitated to give advice, contact my mother’s doctors, or just listen to us struggle emotionally as we dealt with my mother’s failing health. It was not unusual for Nancy to call us after regular office hours, and she never once made us feel as if we were an imposition on her busy schedule. In short, she made us feel as if my mother was her only patient. Nancy also made time for my mother during her visits to look at family photos of events she knew were taking place. Nancy became an even more important part of our family since, at this same time, my father-in-law was dealing with multiple myeloma. He and my mother shared the same fantastic oncologist, and a couple of years ago, Nancy became his oncology nurse. Truly, I can never repay her for the long talks of support she gave not only to my sister and me but also for how she treated and listened to my mother with such respect and kindness during her illness.
—Nominated by Lori Small
Receiving a diagnosis of breast cancer can be a daunting experience. Undergoing chemotherapy is fraught with fear and trepidation. Jackie Felt has made the last five months of therapy endurable. She has a grace and professionalism about her that is unmatched. Jackie is always upbeat and positive. She demonstrates concern for all of her patients and carefully runs through a list of questions and concerns at each visit. Jackie has always made herself available either in the oncology clinic or by telephone. Due to her experience level, she has insights that may not be available to others and she is willing to share those insights. Jackie is the consummate professional and I could not imagine going through 16 weeks of chemotherapy with any other nursing professional.
—Nominated by Shelia St. Sauveur
I welcome this opportunity to publicly praise and express my appreciation to Scott Rollins, my nurse at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center last spring. Although patients are able to select their surgeons in advance, they do not usually have the option of choosing the nurses who care for them while they recover. All of the nurses with whom I came into contact were excellent, but Scott Rollins stands out vividly in my memory. His calm, reassuring manner made me feel well cared for and secure. His medical expertise was accompanied by his compassion, tact, and sensitivity to my needs. Knowing that he would be my nurse for a day or evening always made me feel happy and relaxed. When I was being discharged from the hospital, he clearly and patiently explained the medical instructions I was to follow at home. I shall always be grateful for and cognizant of the important part he had in making my hospital experience so positive.
—Nominated by Judith Hoberman
I would like to nominate Mary Flanagan from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical for my care during May 2012.
—Nominated by Teresa Leahy
After I survived a coma and quadriplegia triggered by a deadly neurological disorder, everyone said that I had to meet Judy. Judy and her team worked tirelessly to keep me alive during those tense weeks in the MICU as my doctors struggled to diagnose the rare disorder that nearly killed me, the mother of two young children. Thank God that Judy had the courage to take me on, with unending vigilance, care, and compassion.
—Nominated by Wendy Ford
My husband was admitted to Beth Israel on May 4 and diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. Kari became his primary nurse; it felt like he was her primary concern. She embodies the phrase “compassionate care.’’ Kari showed interest not only in Alex, but also our entire family, remembering details that appeared to be minute. During this time, Kari experienced a life-altering personal situation, but she continued to put the care of her patients first when she walked through the doors of Feldberg 7. Awesome.
—Nominated by Renee Downes-Gilkes
Tatiana Vicente cared for me as I underwent a stem cell transplant. She was very empathetic, but she was also extremely professional. She anticipated many of the problems that arose, and she had little extra procedures that would help ease the situation. I got a blood infection when my immune system was at its weakest. She called in the medical staff and provided warm blankets when I was shaking uncontrollably from the rigors. She pulled me through while teaching others.
—Nominated by Gregory Jones
Kim Sullivan is compassionate and always there when you need her. She never says no to any request. It’s been a seven-year relationship.
—Nominated by Richard L. Elwell