Kootenai Clinic Cancer Services Registered Nurse Lisa Kolenda was nominated for a DAISY Award by one of the grateful cancer patients she cared for during a health emergency.
“She treated me with such compassion and personal care,” her patient, a local pastor, wrote in the nomination form. “Lisa treated me like a human and recognized I was in a crisis condition.”
It was late on a Friday, but the patient was in no shape to be discharged.
“Lisa, with her complete follow-through, took the extra time to go the extra mile and wheeled me all the way to the emergency room!” the patient wrote. “Once she checked me in at the ER, she promised me they would take good care of me.”
A few months later, he returned to the infusion room when he wasn’t doing well amid radiation treatments. Lisa once again gave him that important personal care. When he was ready go to home, made a point to stop by her nurse’s station to personally thank her for her attentive care.
“I told her how much she made a difference in my life and that I would never forget it!” the patient wrote. “We both had tears in our eyes as we embraced before I left.”
It was then that Lisa suggested he consider having a feeding tube in his stomach.
“Lisa, I truly believe that your suggestion that day had a lot to do with saving my life,” he wrote.
“I know that a nurse’s job must be the same old same old day in and day out, and you may wonder if it is worth it all? The answer is YES! You made an immeasurable difference in this 64-year-old man’s life that will be forever remembered!
“I’ve been a pastor for 43 years and often ask the same question. Is what we do important? Only heaven will ultimately reveal how many lives we have touched in this life and for eternity. From the bottom of my heart and countless other patients that you serve, I say, ‘Thank you Lisa Kolenda for ALL you do!’”
DAISY is an acronym for “Diseases Attacking the Immune SYstem.” The DAISY Foundation was formed in January 2000 by the family of J. Patrick Barnes who died at age 33 from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura, an auto-immune disease. Touched by the care and compassion of his nursing team, his family developed recognition programs to honor and celebrate direct care nurses, nursing faculty and nursing students.