December 2016 DAISY Award winners Holly Sircher, RN, and Elyssa Bassow, RN from ICU at the Mercy Health Mercy Campus. Holly and Elyssa were nominated by a former patient, Lindsey Armstrong.
“I was in the ICU after suffering a stroke and then underwent open heart surgery. My nurses were Holly and Elyse. I was still trying to wrap my head around what happened within the previous four days and these two nurses were not only amazing to me, but also to my entire family.
“Holly and Elyse were very open and clear to me with what they were doing every time they came into the room. They also made sure that my family knew what they were doing, what they were checking for and when they would be back to check on me next. They never left the room without making sure both my family and I were okay and asked if we needed anything. The love, compassion and generosity they showed, again, not only to me but also to my family during this difficult time was beyond anything I’ve seen or felt before.
“They were there cheering me on when I didn’t want to get up or walk. At night I needed to get up and move around, Holly was so enthusiastic and cheerful telling me that I could do it, and she had confidence in me and that she was right there and not going to let me fall or anything happen to me.
“I have a hard time trusting others, but with Holly I had no doubts. I knew that she wasn’t going to let me fall or get hurt. She was right there with me the whole time. I had taken maybe 10-15 steps and she was telling me how proud she was of me and that she knew I could walk farther, and she would follow me the entire way. She hung out in the room with my family to see some of the Kentucky basketball game.
“When you are 30 years old, engaged to be married in seven months, have a 4-year-old, and then you not only have a stroke but open heart surgery, you can’t help but be scared and upset — although it wasn’t like that because of Holly and Elyse.
“They allowed me to be sad, upset or mad but then were right there to push me through it and help me understand what I had been through and what I needed to do for the future. They made me see the good side of things and truly made my stay in the ICU that much better. I don’t know that my experience with such a tough situation would have been so positive if it hadn’t been for them.
“Elyse was pregnant while I was there, so I know that some things could have been harder for her to do (such as helping me sit up to move out of the bed) yet she was right there, more worried about me than anything else. I honestly could go on about both of these women. They were angels sent to help me through this time, and I don’t know that I could have done it without them.”
Holly and Elyssa were honored with a surprise ceremony on their unit in front of her leaders and peers, as well as with Lindsey and her family. To nominate a well-deserving nurse, please complete the nomination form located on the Mercy Health Muskegon Intranet.