One nurse at St. Edward Mercy will be in for a big surprise this Friday when she is awarded the hospital’s first DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses. The award, presented in collaboration with the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) is part of the DAISY Foundation’s program to recognize the super-human efforts nurses perform every day. Each quarter, nominations will be collected and a nurse will be selected to receive the award.
The first award recipient at St. Edward Mercy is registered nurse Heather Lovelady for her dedication to nursing by continuously demonstrating compassionate care and exceptional service. Heather has been a nurse at St. Edward Mercy for the last ten years.
Heather will receive her award during a surprise presentation in front of her colleagues, physicians, patients and visitors while she’s at work in her unit.
“We are proud to be among the hospitals participating in the DAISY Award program. Nurses are heroes every day.” says Jacquelyn Morrison, director of inpatient nursing, “Given the current national nursing shortage, the DAISY award could not be launched at a better time. It’s important that our nurses know their work is highly valued, and the DAISY Foundation provides a way for us to do that.”
Heather’s nomination letter tells an amazing story. Heather was admitting a patient to the hospital when the woman said that her daughter was usually at her side when she went to the hospital and that this trip was very hard because her daughter had been killed in a car accident two years earlier. The patient went on to tell Heather that her daughter had worked in this particular unit. Heather immediately knew who the patient was talking about and told the patient “your daughter sent me to you.”
It turns out that Heather had gone to nursing school with the patient’s daughter. Her daughter had given Heather an inspirational book when Heather was going through a difficult situation while they were in school together. Over time, the two lost touch but Heather continued to carry the book for more than 10 years and six moves hoping to run into her old friend and return it.
Upon meeting the patient, Heather brought the book to the hospital and gave it to the patient. It was inscribed “with much love, mother 1989”. After receiving the book, the patient grabbed Heather by the arm and said “you don’t know what you’ve done for me, I feel like she is with me now.”
The nomination form goes on to say “Heather feels she is part of a miracle ten years in the making. She is a special person, friend and confidant to all of us here at the hospital. We all love her so much. She has a heart of pure gold.”