Virginia “Ginny” Hendricks, RN, of TidalHealth Nanticoke’s Medical Surgical Unit (MSU), has been selected as the Seaford hospital’s August 2023 recipient of the Daisy Award.
Her nomination, below, was written by a family member to acknowledge the exceptional care and compassion she provided to their aunt:
My 52-year-old aunt was admitted to TidalHealth Nanticoke with respiratory failure from metastatic colorectal cancer to the lungs on April 13. My aunt had been told her lung tumor burden was causing her respiratory failure and there was nothing else to be done but focus on keeping her comfortable.
During my aunt’s 23-month battle with cancer, her goal had been to survive long enough to make it to her daughter’s high school graduation. My aunt gave up her career to homeschool my cousin and poured every bit of herself into making her daughter’s life as wonderful as possible. My cousin was scheduled to graduate in the first week of June. My family asked if we could do a fake graduation early, as we felt my aunt was suffering to try and make it to June, but we were always told that wasn’t what my aunt and cousin wanted.
All the nurses involved in my aunt’s care were truly remarkable, but Ginny had a special bond with my aunt and cousin that helped them agree to do the graduation early at the hospital. On April 18, Ginny set up a conference room for us to use for the cake, pizza, pictures and balloons. Ginny arranged it so the whole family could be there as well as some of my aunt’s chemo nurses.
The graduation ceremony and celebration were gloriously perfect. My aunt was able to give a speech to say how proud she was of my cousin. Another nurse came in and offered to give a kind speech and pray a touching prayer in Haitian Creole over my aunt and cousin as my family is very religious. The nurses gave my cousin a card, a gift card, and a Snoopy dog with a graduation hat on for all the family to sign as a reminder of the event. The nurses clapped for my cousin when she flipped her tassel to the other side and joined in on our prayer as my family held hands.
The care from the nurses and the graduation was truly one of the most thoughtful and beautiful things I’ve ever witnessed. This provided my aunt with peace at the end of her life. On Ginny’s last day on shift, she cried with my aunt and gave her the biggest hug. My aunt then decided to go home with hospice on April 19 and went on to her forever home with God on April 23.
The kindness shown to us by the nurses, aids and pulmonologists will not be forgotten. Ginny went above and beyond to accommodate all my aunt’s big and small requests, and we are so grateful she could give so much peace and joy to my aunt and family during such a difficult time.
Hendricks was recently honored with the Daisy Award in a ceremony before her colleagues. She received certificates commending her for being an extraordinary nurse, and a sculpture called A Healer’s Touch, hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Zimbabwe.
The not-for-profit DAISY Foundation is based in Glen Ellen, Calif., and was established by family members in memory of J. Patrick Barnes. Patrick died at age 33 in late 1999 from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), a little-known but not uncommon autoimmune disease.
The care Patrick and his family received from nurses while he was ill inspired this unique means of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patient families.
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