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The 'Angel' Nurse: She went above and beyond

The 'Angel' Nurse: She went above and beyond

If your child has ever had a stay in the hospital, you may have encountered this extraordinary nurse. One young cancer patient developed such a closeness, she nominated her Angel nurse for a very special honor.

"She told me that I had a brain tumor," Kriseya Wheeler was just 10 years old when she got that diagnosis four years ago. That would begin a long journey, but she wouldn't go it alone.

Someone special was waiting for her in the ICU - charge nurse Tanya Kent, "I just started talking with Kriseya and trying to get to know her and to try to make her feel less scared in a very intense situation, especially being out of her element."

Nurse Tanya and Kriseya just clicked from the moment they met. It was a bond neither of them can quite explain - it just was.

For a young patient, it was all of the little things, "She made sure I got out of my room and off the floor as often as possible. I really like art. So, she'd bring me art kits and, like, jewelry kits so I could make jewelry."

Tanya felt the chemistry, "She's funny and she's smart, and I'm a smart aleck myself and so, I would say something to her and she would have a quick rebuttal. She was very, very quick."

They got to know and read each so well that Kriseya's mom called Nurse Tanya one night on her day off to say she just had a feeling something was wrong. Tanya didn't hesitate to leave her home and head to the ICU. "I knew the moment I saw her. I was like, ‘Baby, what happened?’ And she said, ‘I just don't feel good.’ I sure did pick up my phone and call Dr. Pierson at home, woke him up in the middle of the night."

It was the constant above-and-beyond caring like that that prompted Kriseya to act when she saw a sign encouraging people to nominate their favorite nurse for a prestigious international award. "It said, ‘Nominate your nurse for a DAISY Award.’ I'm like, ‘Well, I'm not super sure what DAISY stands for, but I know a nurse who deserves an award.’"

Kriseya had lots to tell the committee about her nurse and then she summed it up this way; "I think nurse Tanya K. deserves a DAISY Award because she thoughtfully acquires, accommodates, expedites and advocates for her patients. After all, she practically saved my life."

Needless to say, Nurse Tanya was presented that DAISY Award. Ironically, her father received the same honor years ago as an ICU and ER nurse in California. She is humbled. "This is my passion. God put me here for a reason and I knew this is where He wanted me to be."

Angels In Our Midst is sponsored by Anderson Subaru.

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