Good Samaritan Hospital
Sarah Godfrey, RN OPCC
When our Charge Nurse, Connie Sauerbeck, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, our department was devastated! We did feel fortunate that she was able to be cared for by an extraordinary nurse in the Outpatient Cancer Care Department, Sarah Godfrey. We would like to nominate her for the Daisy Award.
Connie had such a strong will to survive despite her diagnosis. For the 2 1/2 years that she battled her disease, Sarah was there to give her guidance, expertise and her life knowledge of her oncology experience. Her understanding of Connie's desire to control her disease, career, family and life was amazing and her ability to provide the best care for Connie was true nursing dedication.
Many of us who worked with Connie had our own opinions and feelings of how she should or shouldn't "handle" her disease. Sarah never pushed Connie. She accepted wherever Connie was in her process of dealing with her ovarian cancer.
Even though Connie has passed to a new life, we feel that Sarah did such a fantastic job of helping Connie work her way through the challenge of having ovarian cancer.
We feel that Sarah, is most deserving of receiving the Daisy Award.
Submitted by Staff of the Outpatient Treatment Center
Additional Nomination for same nurse
I would like to nominate Sarah Godfrey a nurse who works in the Outpatient Oncology Department and Radiation Department for the Daisy Award. Sarah truly deserves this nomination for possessing super-human qualities. My interactions with Sarah occurred when my colleague, Connie Sauerbeck who has since passed, was being cared for in the Outpatient Oncology Department. Sarah was Connie’s primary nurse through her 2 ½ year fight with ovarian cancer. Connie’s disease course or outcome was probably not any different than anyone else with the stage of diagnosis. The difference with Connie was that she was a nurse with a strong will to live.
As nurses, we know some of our most challenging patients are healthcare professionals. Connie definitely presented a challenge for Sarah. Connie was determined that she was going to “manage” her own care and treatment and continue to work. Being able to work was so important to Connie. This made her feel normal and that she was still able to contribute to being alive. The second challenge Connie presented to Sarah was that Connie pretty much “hid” the gravity of her disease from everyone, including family, except her co-workers. As a nurse managing a devastating disease such as this, as the disease progresses we begin to rely heavier on the family. Sarah did not have this opportunity.
Sarah did everything she could to assist Connie in the way she wanted to manage her disease. Sarh assisted Connie through the last 2 ½ years of receiving her treatments while being able to continue to work. She arranged times for treatments around Connie’s work schedule. She consistently would call and check on Connie while at work. Sarah had great intuition regarding Connie. She knew when Connie was not doing well and Sarah would make arrangements to have to come in for a treatment. This last year was a tough year for her. As her disease slowly took her away, Connie needed someone to take more control of her care. Sarah was so clever. Although Connie made decisions, Sarah was so patient and eventually would get her to do the right thing for her care.
Eventually Sarah had to help Connie address the process of dying. Connie so wanted to fight to stay alive and the reality of death was a difficult “pill to swallow”. Sarah never pushed Connie. She so eloquently persisted with her to address the issue of death and palliative care. Sarah consistently worked with Connie to “let her family in” on her disease process. Eventually, at near the end Connie did involve her family and palliative care.
As nurses it’s often difficult to realize we cannot control everything, especially the time we have on this earth. Sarah’s super-human quality was her ability to let her patient have the control to move through to the end of her disease process while maintaining her quality of life!
Submitted by Elizabeth Berter, RN, BSN, CNOR
Manager Endoscopy Department & Outpatient Treatment Center