Angel Jones

Angel Jones

Angel Jones, RN

MRICU
VCU Health System
Richmond, Virginia
United States

Photo: left to right: Deborah Zimmerman, CNO; Angel Jones, RN, DAISY Award Honoree
On the night of April 7 and into morning on April 8, Angel Jones, a nurse on MRICU, proved to me that she was aptly named--she was an angel to my family and as such I believe that she is very deserving of the DAISY Award.
Though my sister-in-law was very ill and facing a dangerous surgical procedure on April 8, we were not prepared for the events of that night. She is a single mother of three children and took a sudden turn for the worse. The phone call we received around 11 p.m. on April 7 began a very long night for us. Unfortunately, her heart stopped due to complications from lung cancer. She was resuscitated, placed on a ventilator, and the family was called to the hospital. Upon our arrival, we learned the gravity of the situation and realized that Kim was not going to live. At that point, her eldest daughter and I had to take care of the necessary meetings and arrangements to withdraw life support. Although everyone agreed that it was for the best, it was a gut-wrenching and emotional decision, particularly for her children.
And this is where Angel came to our rescue. One of my nieces is a 16-year-old girl, who had not been fully aware of her mother's health status. She knew that her mother's unexpected death would forever alter her life. My nephew, her oldest son, was very emotional and, in fact, nearly hysterical at the news. They didn't want to leave their mother, but they also were frightened to be left alone with her. Angel sensed without our saying a word that we were reluctant to leave these two for the required meetings. Angel stepped right up and offered to stay in the room with them while we took care of these difficult matters. When my niece became very upset, Angel stood by her, held her, and comforted her. I don't think that these two children would have been able to endure that wait without Angel's calming and comforting presence.
We wanted to be with my sister-in-law as she passed away. Angel (and the physicians, of course) saw to it that her passing would be as peaceful as possible, primarily to prevent additional anguish for us. Even though it took longer to withdraw life support very gradually, Angel stayed there every second. She stood by the IV machine to make sure that she was getting the sedation she needed. Her eyes never left her. At one point, she showed some discomfort and muscle spasms, and Angel immediately took steps to alleviate it. She answered our questions and maintained a very calm presence, which was comforting to us. When Kim's life ended, she stayed with us because there just wasn't enough of me to hug everyone who needed it.
That night was one of the worst of my life; but Angel made the experience much easier to bear.
The manner in which she did her job that night showed her to have exceptional poise, confidence, nursing skills, and compassion far beyond what I would have expected from such a young nurse. I will always consider her to be a true angel sent to help us through an extraordinarily difficult time.