Lori Fadden does not just personify Cancer Treatment Centers of America's remarkable patient experience while always demonstrating excellence in her clinical expertise. She also is unparalleled in the compassion she possess towards patients, caregivers and stakeholders.
Picking a situation that would translate how much she means to so many is the difficult part. These moments that stand out so much to us and our patients do not begin to portray how many lives she touches. I have never been accused of being brief, so forgive me if I hold true to my reputation. I will share three very different moments, in hopes you will understand how lucky CTCA is to have such an extraordinary woman representing our Mother Standard every day of the year.
We had a patient who was stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He was a theater teacher in New Jersey. His students and their productions drove him to fight every day. He would speak with Lori daily, expressing his feelings, using her as a resource for his disease progression, laughing and crying with her. Sharing his fears and most important his goal, to stay alive long enough to complete his last school production.
One of the last conversations I had with this patient, was about two weeks after his show. He was home, his brother was checking on him regularly and he knew his journey was nearing the end. He sounded peaceful, not scared, almost ready. He thanked the team for all our love, support, care and laughter. He told me one of the most wonderful moments he will treasure forever was when he looked out into the audience and saw this special woman sitting there, with a huge grin, applauding and cheering. He couldn't believe she had researched the time and location and at the end of a busy work week his favorite nurse was out there, supporting him and admiring his work. He said Lori would never know how much that meant to him.
During a period when our oncologist was out on maternity leave we seemed to have an influx of very young patients who were admitted to the ICU and not doing well. This was hard for us emotionally and required our team to be strong and attentive on a different level.
One of our ICU patients was a very young lung cancer patient. She was healthy and fit with no risk factors. She was one of those patients you never really wrap your head around why this was happening. She was like a ray of sunshine. She had this bigger than life loveable huggable husband and two adorable children.
As the days passed her condition grew progressively more critical. Her husband and cousin were here, bedside and like the strongest root of the biggest oak tree, this Lori stayed with them.
Helping them make arrangements to get the children here, supported the patient in her decision to
stay alert while on her ventilator until she could say goodbye to her children. Lori provided more love, support and strength than I have ever witnessed during one of the most sad times I can
I called the family about a month later to check in. They said Dad and kids were in family
counseling and they were getting by one day at a time. It was the patient's cousin on the phone and she said, "I don't know where Lori gets her strength but thank God we had her with us. Everyone was so wonderful at CTCA but especially her. Thank you.
A group of us Nurses were walking out of work one day. We were discussing our children and driver's licenses and money. I was relaying how exhausted I was driving my son back and forth to his work, how late it could be since he worked in a restaurant. Out of nowhere, my coworker Lori turns to me and states she has a car. It was her Uncle's, has a ton of miles, very clean and if I want to have it inspected, it was mine. I looked at her like she was crazy. She went on to say she and her husband each have a car and don't need a third one. It would give her great happiness to have my son use it well and help me out during a rough time. When my son went to pick the car up from her house he could not believe how generous and kind Lori was. He said she gave him a great big hug and said enjoy it and be safe. About a year after he got the car, he and I were walking and he turned to me and said, "I still cannot believe how incredible your friend Lori is. Nobody ever does that kind of stuff for us. Every time I get in the car I think about her."
No sooner had those words come out of his mouth when I received the following text, it was from Lori..It read, "I hope you are having an amazing time with your family on your week off. I miss and love you!"
What else can be said? There is no other person, in my opinion more deserving than Lori Fadden, BSN, OCN, Team Lead and dear friend, to be the recipient of the DAISY Award. She not only exemplifies the core of Mother Standard, but restores our faith in all that is good.