June 2017
Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital
Los Angeles
United States




I have an extremely complicated health history with many months at a time in the hospital fighting for my life. In 2008 I was given 20% chance to survive an 8-hour reconstructive surgery to try and create a digestive system as I had a total gastrectomy in 2000. I was also on TPN (24/7) for 12 years. Needless to say, I have made many friends with the nurses, caregivers, and all staff making my stay as easy and comfortable as possible. I made it through surgery and was then placed on life support. It was one of the hardest times in my life to overcome breathing on my own and learning how to eat by mouth again. The team did their best to bring new life and hope to me and my family.
It is really important to me to know this DAISY Award was established the same year my long journey with UCLA began. I too have an auto-immune disease MDS and RA. I too was a young 40 years old. The story of the DAISY foundation mirrors my life and represents the kind of care my family and I have received.
One nurse JoAnne "Jojo" Howe stands out as an extraordinary nurse who gives all she has to everyone she cares for and makes enormous differences in the lives of many, but forever in my life. She has taken care of me from 2008 to present. She gave me hope when hope was fading away! She boosts my spirit by cheering me on and making me remember what my faith in God had brought me to. This week has been no different. She's an Angel in disguise and for this reason, I nominate her for the prestigious DAISY Award.