My grandmother, Louise Donovan, suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and was a patient at the Winthrop PACE Center until she passed away last September. Although my family greatly appreciated all of the nurses, Terri Russell stood out for her strong clinical and communication skills. Most notable was her compassion. Even though my grandmother forgot many of the details of her life, Terri always engaged her in activities reminiscent of her past. My grandmother, a hospital employee herself in her younger days, was allowed to sit with the nurses at work as she would have done long ago. Terri let my grandmother do “chores’’ with her, something she had done for years as a devoted mother of seven sons. Terri made sure my grandmother enjoyed a sundae from down the street almost every week. Despite having lost her memory, she still knew she loved ice cream. Even through such a confusing condition, it was apparent that my grandmother loved Terri and the staff at the PACE Center. My family often remarked that it felt like Terri was a member of our family, especially in the way that she cared about my grandmother’s well being. When my grandmother passed, Terri drove from an hour away to attend her wake, which touched all of the members of my family. In a difficult time, it was reassuring to have a nurse like Terri, who not only comforted by grandmother, but also my family, with her kind spirit.
—Nominated by Kerry Donovan