Shelly Hickerson

Shelly Hickerson, RN

Home Health Care
Mercy Hospital St. Louis
St. Louis, Missouri
United States

...Shelly had been taking care of a very sick little girl. She saw this patient daily and would spend hours caring for this child and her family as this child was dying. The family had refused Hospice services, so multiple nursing visits in a day were necessary to attend to this patient's needs. On New Year's eve, Shelly opened her heart and showed her compassion.

The week before Christmas, this little girl's mother was trying to get a craft done before she passed but the little girl never felt up to it. So it was on New Year's eve, as the little girl began to deteriorate, that Shelly followed the EMS to the hospital to be there with the mother and the child. The child passed shortly after arrival to the ER. While Shelly was there she along with two Child Life specialists assisted the mother in giving her little girl her last bath. It was during this bath that the mother started to talk about the craft that she wished she could have captured. Shelly knowing that the mother was in good hands with the Child Life specialists went back to the patient's home from the hospital to get the things needed for this last craft. While she was at the home gathering the crafts, she made sure that no trace of the paramedic's work remained, she wiped up blood, cleaned up wrappers, and put the house back the way she remembered it. She did this knowing that when the family would return home without their little girl they wouldn't want to remember her last few hours in their home. After cleaning up the house, gathering supplies for this craft and grabbing the little girl's cherished blanket, she headed back to the hospital. When Shelly returned to the hospital she knew that the parents were visiting with the doctor so she dropped off the supplies she gathered as well as the little girl's blanket. By Shelly taking the time and having the heart she has, this family was able to capture the last prints of their new guardian angel.

Shelly has shown us all the compassion, the strength, and the heart she has for those she serves. These actions are certainly not in Shelly's job description, but speak volumes of her commitment to patient care along with that of being an amazing thoughtful and caring person. How thoughtful of Shelly to offer to go back to fetch the items needed to capture the last prints of a child for her grieving mother and family, and clean up what would have been a horrific scene for the family to return home to.