A phone held to the ear of a dying mother allowed her daughter the chance to say goodbye.
Suzanne Brinkmeyer, a registered nurse at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire, earned the national DAISY Award for Exceptional Nurses for her care of this woman at the end of life.
The DAISY ceremony was like many — tear-filled eyes, grateful smiles, big hugs. The day was even more special for two reasons: Daughters of the woman who died were present as was the Barnes family of California, founders of the national DAISY Award. Bonnie and Mark Barnes and their 13-year-old granddaughter Riley are spending the summer touring some of the 1,300 health care facilities that participate in DAISY.
“(Nurses) just do their jobs, and they do them with such dedication and commitment,” Bonnie said. “We feel that we all have to say thank you and to demonstrate to them how special they are to our community."
In thanking Brinkmeyer, JR and JL wrote about the night their mother, EQ of Eau Claire, died in March 2012: “How do you know when you go to work as a nurse that the one extra step you take at a critical time may create a scenario that another will cherish for a lifetime?” they asked. “We know because we are the grateful ones for the thoughtful, meaningful step that a well-trained nurse took during our mom’s last few moments on earth.”
Brinkmeyer described herself as “flabbergasted, honored, humbled and proud” to earn the DAISY Award. But she was quick to share that honor: “I couldn’t do my job without my team of other nurses that I work with,” said Brinkmeyer, who works in Medical Telemetry/Intermediate Care.