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Wrapped in love

As caregivers, we are often right there beside our patients as they fight the toughest battles of their lives. We become cheerleaders, coaches, and sometimes confidants as we help guide each patient and family through what many times can only be described as feats of Herculean strength. This is certainly the case at Mercy Oncology/Hematology where registered medical assistants Linda Daudelin Harmon and Helena Rothwell work.

Helena recently shared through a submission to yourstory@emhs.org how the personalized and compassionate care Linda provided to “Anna,” a patient, truly inspired her in her own work. She said, “Anna, a melanoma patient, was only in her mid to late thirties while we were caring for her. She struggled with mental illness and unfortunately did not have a family member to lean on during this very difficult time. Understanding this situation, Linda made a concerted effort during every one of Anna’s appointments to make her feel loved and cared for.”

“Most people want to be heard, want to know they are safe and respected,” Linda commented when reflecting on the experience. “I try to see the whole person, not just the illness they have. The world might see her as a troubled and vulnerable person, but we saw her as someone who had a very special beauty within. We all loved her because she was so authentic and genuine.”

Helena-(left)-Linda-(right)-Mercy-Oncology-6-5-18-1.jpgAt one point during the time Anna was receiving treatments, the department had received a wonderful donation of beautiful hand-made quilts. Linda knew that having one of these quilts would mean the world to Anna and she immediately took the opportunity to carefully choose one that would be perfect for her. “The next time Anna came in, Linda presented the quilt to her. I will always remember how much that quilt meant to Anna—such a simple, kind gesture,” Helena recalled.

“A blanket has always been significant to me because I see it as not only something to keep you warm, but also as a type of hug that wraps around you and offers comfort and security—it wraps you in love,” said Linda.

She continued, “We miss Anna very much, but I am truly glad during this challenging time in her life that we were able to provide some happiness and comfort. Anna was a very talented artist, dancer, and had a great sense of humor, even about herself. She let us see that because she felt safe with us.”


Do you have a story about a team or staff member who provided exceptional patient experience? Share it by emailing yourstory@emhs.org.