On December 25, my mother was a patient at Carle Foundation Hospital, Fourth Floor Tower, and she had the very good fortune to have Angela (Angie) Davis as her nurse. My mother had been diagnosed on Christmas Eve with metastasized lung cancer, and the only option for treatment was supportive care. It was a horrible shock to all of us, as we had no idea she had cancer. We had hoped to bring her home, but her condition deteriorated quickly. On Christmas morning, Angie told my father that we needed to work together to develop a plan, as her passing would be soon.
Angie worked with my mother to help her understand that her time was coming near, so that she could die without fear, with dignity, and in peace. Angie ascertained her wishes, empowered her choices, and supported her as she made her final decisions. Angie treated her with respect, explaining how each medication would help my mother breathe easier and alleviate her pain. She took the time to position my mother just-so with her pillows so that it was easier for her to talk with us. Angie swabbed her mouth with cool water to make it easier for her to speak. My mother loved classical music, and Angie helped her find music to soothe her mind and spirit.
Angie also cared for my father, me, my husband, and my mother's best friend, helping us come to grips with the fact that her end was very near. By caring for us too, Angie gave us the strength to be truly present with my mother so that our final hours together were expressions of love and gratitude of a life well-lived.
I am a psychologist with a specialization in trauma, and as I look back on this through the eyes of my professional training, I can say unequivocally that Angie followed every principle of trauma-informed care that I teach in my classes and professional seminars. In her words and actions, Angie did so much to prevent unnecessary pain for all of us. It was a traumatic experience, but our healing journey was able to begin that very day.
The patients and families of Carle are very lucky to have Angie on staff, and we commend you and your nursing team for creating a culture of excellence in patient care. Please accept this letter as a nomination for a DAISY Award for Angie, our extraordinary Nurse.