Debbie Churchill
June 2016
Pulmonary/General Medicine
University of Tennessee Medical Center
United States




My mother was admitted to the University of Tennessee Medical Center on Wednesday, in the ER and then transferred to the Pulmonary floor on Thursday.  She was admitted for congestive heart failure with three leaking values.  Upon entering the hospital, my mother was in a state of depression and anxiety from the loss of her grandson in November.  Her diagnosis was not good and her state of mind was withdrawn.  As a family, we have all been beat down and drained emotionally and mentally since we lost our precious one.

When my mother was transferred to the Pulmonary floor, our spirits were so broken and we were worried about her outcome. That evening after shift change and a new set of nurses and C.N.A.'s came on, Debbie stepped in to evaluate Mom.  She introduced herself and began asking questions.  My mom would answer, but did not engage in any extra conversation.  When we returned the next day, we asked how she was feeling and if she was comfortable.  She stated yes and that all the staff was nice and helpful.

Over the next day or so, Mom expressed how much she liked Debbie, the night shift nurse.  Debbie had engaged in conversation with Mom and drew her out a little.  Through their talks, my mom had opened up to her about the trauma we had all been through.  You see, my mom had become withdrawn and did not want to be around people.  I feel Debbie made a connection with Mom and it made a big impression.  Mom told me Debbie asked if she could pray with her.  She knelt by her bed and they prayed.

I feel Debbie took the time to listen to my mom when she needed to open up and she couldn’t until now.  Our family got to know Debbie since we were there daily.  She is kind, caring, and thorough with her patients.  We witnessed this with others she took care of.  My mom looked forward to Debbie coming in to talk and trusted her as her nurse/caregiver.  Debbie explained things to us when we had many questions and never got in a hurry or was impatient.  Most of all, Debbie listened to my mom.  She knew this patient needed to start trying to heal not only physically, but mentally and emotionally.

She is truly an exceptional nurse and individual.  We feel nursing was most definitely her calling in life.  Our family nominates Debbie for the DAISY Award for her compassion, kindness, caregiving, and going above and beyond to take care of her patient and their families.