My father has battled a long hard fight with COPD and a host of other medical issues either directly or indirectly related to COPD. During this time, my family and I have seen more than our fair share of hospitals and experienced countless interactions with hospital staff, doctors and nurses. February 9, 2016 my father experienced one of the worse bouts of COPD related breathing problems yet. He was placed on a ventilator and sedated to a comatose state while in the ER and transferred to ICU. It was there that we met Russell Jackson.
Russell is a true asset to WellStar Paulding Hospital. He put us at ease with his sincere kindness, true compassion and his ability to explain the various tests, medical language, abbreviations etc. at a level a non-medical orientated person could easily understand. He instilled a sense of trust that put my family and me at ease. Russell is a true role model for his peers and the student nurses he helps train. He is an excellent mentor, which was evident while watching him work with a student nurse from Georgia Highland College. The student was also a welcomed face in my father’s room. Her warm smile, gentle nature, and the care she has for the patents she works with will carry her far in this industry.
The student and Russell had an extremely busy day Wednesday February 10, 2016 and were not able to fit a bath into their busy day for my father. They were busy taking care of higher priority issues. Russell and Mary stayed after their shift to ensure my father received a bath and cleaned around all of his tubes to help prevent sores in his mouth. This is just one example of Russell’s compassion and dedication to his patients. He is a true role model for his student followers.
My husband and I originally planned to get married in the Caribbean September 7, 2016. Uncertain of what the future would hold for my father, we wanted to ensure that he was at our wedding. We moved our wedding to Friday February 12, 2016. We did not anticipate this upon our frazzled departure from our home in South Florida, so we had very little of the items needed to prepare a wedding. It didn’t matter to either of us, blue jeans, our pastor and our family were all that we needed.
Russell heard about our plans to marry in my father’s ICU room and began to make contacts with our permission. The hospital staff pulled together a wedding my husband and I could not have expected under the circumstances. Russell helped prepare my father for our ceremony, helped him groom his beard because it was very important to my father, sat him up in bed and elevated his head so that he could see. My husband and I were able to concentrate on each other and our vows because we knew and trusted that Russell would take care of any and all needs my father may have.
Russell is a prime candidate for the DAISY Award. It is an honor for our family to nominate him for this award. He is truly deserving of such an award. He helped make an awful situation a little less awful. He’s not only a nurse; he is a hero to my family and me. We thank him from the bottom of our hearts for his care, compassion, empathy, professionalism and his desire to go above and beyond.
The hospital staff took the time to decorate my father’s room, another nurse’s husband sang a beautiful song at our wedding, two other wonderful nurses helped me into my dress (a surprise from my husband who flew home to be with his mother during a very important medical procedure and fly back the next day). The hospital chef made us a beautiful wedding cake complete with a cake topper and two more delicious cakes! He catered our wedding with delicious food and included sparkling cider with champagne glasses. It was obvious that he took his time to prepare our food with care and compassion. The hospital staff prepared flowers, balloons and gave us a beautiful blanket with a picture of the hospital on it. WellStar Paulding possesses a truly wonderful staff, whose compassion, hard work and generosity was truly humbling. This hospital and its staff helped create memories we will treasure for a lifetime. We can never express to them how grateful and appreciative we are.