COVID patient praises Sparrow Ionia caregivers as her “angel band,” nominates them for award

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Posted at 12:21 PM, Jan 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-04 12:21:02-05

IONIA, MI — Eighty-five year-old Beverly Johnston of Ionia credits the caregivers at Sparrow Ionia Hospital – who she calls her “angel band” – with saving her life after she contracted COVID-19 this fall.

“It was the best care you could ever ask for in this world,” she said.

Johnston was hospitalized for several weeks with COVID after she was admitted with a bad cough and flu-like symptoms. She feels blessed to have gone to Sparrow Ionia with its leading-edge medicine and highly skilled and compassionate caregivers.

“They nurtured me, they loved me. They are so compassionate and loving,” she said. “They are angels of mercy.”

Johnston said caregivers responded to her every need and nursed her so well that within weeks she was able to sit up in bed and carry on a vigorous conversation. The caregivers even set up a Zoom link so she could view her 83-year-old brother’s funeral.

Johnston had not received the COVID vaccine when she was diagnosed but said she plans to now. If she ever needs medical help again, she knows where she wants to receive care.

“I said to my children that I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”

Johnston was feeling so good about the care she received that she said she nominated all of her caregivers for a DAISY Award, given for extraordinary nursing.

In response to Johnston’s nomination, Sparrow Ionia recently honored the hospital’s Medical Surgical nursing team with a DAISY Award for their compassionate care, outstanding nursing skills, and always putting patients first.

“Our Medical Surgical inpatient team is deserving of this award because of how they provide care from the heart, not for the recognition, but for who they are care plus givers,” said Steve Dexter, MSN, RN, CNRN, Sparrow Ionia Director of Operations.

Medical Surgical nurse Christa Schrauben, RN, was also recognized with a DAISY Award based on a patient letter that identified her as an “angel from above walking the hospital hallways.” Schrauben has been employed at Sparrow Ionia since October 2012.

“Christa is an advocate for her patients. She takes the time to infuse holistic care which, in turn,

reveals the value in patient-centered care,” Dexter said. “Christa truly provides the care that people need, every patient, every time.”

The DAISY Award is an international program that rewards and celebrates the extraordinary, compassionate and skillful care given to nurses every day.

DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System. The DAISY Award is a national program created in memory of J. Patrick Barnes who died in 1999 of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura, or ITP, at age 33. His family was overwhelmed by the skillful and compassionate nurses who cared for him, and the DAISY Foundation and Award were created as an expression of their gratitude.

Schrauben and the Medical Surgical Team received certificates, DAISY pins, and beautiful stone sculptures called A Healer’s Touch, hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Zimbabwe. The sculptures depict the embracing relationship nurses have with their patients.