Tami Tyler
July 2020
General Surgery
University of Virginia Health
United States




Nurses are known for their compassion and desire to help others. Then a Pandemic happened and it exponentially grew the need to provide care, support, and love with others.
Tami was working over a weekend to care for an elderly woman with late stage cancer. The patient, who we will call Mrs. E, was frail, thin, and acutely ill with a bowel obstruction and pneumonia. Early in the start of her shift, Tami received a call from Mrs. E's daughter, who we will call Sarah. Sarah was distraught. She had not seen her mother since she was admitted to the intensive care unit. COVID-19 visitor restrictions meant she was not allowed to come. Her phone calls with her mom left her increasingly worried that she was getting worse, not better and she did not want her to be alone.
Tami spent time carefully listening to Sarah's concerns. She committed to her that she would not only provide excellent nursing care but that she would call Sarah every few hours with an update or if she needed to call her she certainly should. Over the next 48 hours, Mrs. E continued to worsen and Sarah continued to be very concerned. Tami reassured her and supported her at every turn. Sarah was allowed to visit her mom after 6 days and wept in distress at her bedside. Mrs. E and Sarah changed the goals of care with her physicians and the hospitalization shifted to comfort care. Sarah was now allowed to be with her mom. The next morning Tami arrived to work and checked on Mrs. E. The off-going charge nurse had assigned Mrs. E to a different nurse. Tami immediately asked if she might move her assignment around to care for Mrs. E. It was clear that Mrs. E was actively dying. When Sarah arrived that morning, she literally cried with relief to see "her Tami caring for mommy". Tami's outstanding clinical and emotional care had a tremendous impact on Mrs. E and Sarah. A peaceful loving environment was created and Mrs. E died with her daughter holding her hand.
Note: This is Tami's 2nd DAISY Award!