Debbie Bridges

Debbie Bridges, RN

500 West Oncology
CoxHealth: Springfield and Monett
Springfield, Missouri
United States

Tonight my husband has been gone for one month after the cancer he fought so hard. It took his life at 52 years of age. The seven month struggle was the worst of our lives but God also blessed us with some very special angels on 500 West. Steve and I lived there for five weeks before he came home with hospice.
I wish I could nominate the entire floor, they all have angel wings. But one RN touched our lives like no other: her name is Debbie Bridges. Her care every day was the most professional, compassionate, and loving care for both of us. But there was one night that touched our lives and will never be forgotten. See, Steve had rectal cancer and had not been able to have a bowel movement for seven days despite all the medical interventions. Debbie told Steve if he would poop she would do “the poop dance” for him. That night Debbie and I thought we were going to lose Steve. She sat and held me as I cried and she told me, “I won’t let you go through this alone, we’ll get you through.”
At 0100 Steve had a huge bowel movement, but he was so sick and so weak. About 0300 Debbie came to me and asked if I thought I could get Steve up to stand at the window. She had spoken with the night supervisor and she was going to keep her promise. We got a very weak Steve to the window and there on the helipad was the brightest little fairy “dancing the poop dance”. As weak as Steve was, he belly laughed! Debbie will never know how much that meant to me.
Over the three weeks at home with hospice care we would frequently and lovingly laugh over that memory. When we left the hospital, Debbie had given me her personal phone number and said, “Call me if you need a shoulder; I’m here for you. Call me even if you don’t know if you should call – I’m here.” I never did call her but just knowing she was out there helped me make it through the worst days of my life. I sure hope she wins the DAISY award; I don’t think there is anybody who deserves it more.
Thank You Debbie – and the entire 500 W team of nurses.