NCH 2010 Employee Superstars

Tammy Gutierrez
Tammy Gutierrez was working on Christmas morning when one of our dedicated volunteers came in to help.  When the Volunteer started to have difficulty breathing Tammy went to get a wheel chair to take him to the ER and then… he started to turn blue. Tammy immediately called the ER for help. Tammy put our volunteer on the floor and started CPR. Dr. George Molzen jumped over the admitting desk to help Tammy.  Our volunteer was taken to ER and is now doing fine.
Dan Lowery
An employee from our Compassionate Drug Program at the NN Outpatient Infusion Center sent a note of recognition for Dan Lowery and his family as they helped to make sense of a new garden project the department was trying to get started at the North Naples hospital.  The project is an organic flower and vegetable garden currently called the Garden of Hope and Healing for our cancer patients. At the time they were in the test phase of which half of the garden was planted and volunteers did all of the maintenance work.  In addition to looking nice, the garden project hoped to distribute organic vegetables to our Survivor and Friends Support Group and other cancer patients.  For a small garden it is an enormous about of work. Dan mentioned that if we ever needed help that he would be there. He held true to his word. For two months he and his family were instrumental in the garden's function. They weeded, cleared, trimmed, thinned and cleaned. Their enthusiasm was infectious and at a recent support group, they were able to give away 5 very large bags of produce. It's exciting to think that this is just the start.

Kris Howland
Kris Howland, out of concern for a co-worker who was late to work called her home only to hear a crash as the phone hit the floor and to hear her co-worker moaning. Because of her concern EMS was called and her co-worker was found in her recliner dehydrated and on “Deaths Door”. If Kris had not called when she did, we may have lost a dear friend.
Judy Robinson
An elderly patient was admitted to NCH for increasingly combative and bizarre behavior. The patient was not oriented to place or time and had numerous issues with screaming, agitation and inappropriate behavior.  One day the patient thought she was giving birth and went through animated process. The patient was screaming because she wanted to "hold the baby" she just "gave birth to." Nothing was calming her down.  Judy who knew the situation, but was not the patient's nurse that day, said nothing and went to the NCH gift shop and purchased “a baby" which was actually small stuffed teddy bear in a blue robe. She presented the patient with "her baby." At first the patient was not sure about this "ugly and fuzzy child." However she did calm down and medication was not needed. As the day went on the patient was observed cuddling the bear and making sure that it was in a safe spot on her bed.

Linda Ruhl
A frail patient presented for radiology scans and the first set was done without any incident. I repositioned the camera and again asked him to stay still for the next set of scans. I turned to enter the dosing information into the computer and I heard a movement, as I turned back I saw him forcing himself off the table, so I started yelling for help as I sensed he was in danger of hurting himself by falling. I could not let go of his hand so I kept yelling for help until I heard Linda, (Lead Radiology Tech) shouting from a distance that she is on her way coming to help. The patient forced himself from under the camera, snatched his hand from mine, jumped off the table and grabbed a pair of scissors that was laying on the computer table, turned to face me with the opened scissors ready to strike at me; he said “you and I are going to get at it!” At this point the patient's eyes turned white, round and bulging, as if I was encountering a demon possessed monster! Linda entered the scene at this point, she shouted to me “BACK OFF AND LOCK THE DOOR!” It was then that it dawned on me that my life was in danger, as all along my concern was to make sure the patient does not hurt himself. I then followed Linda's instruction and ran out of the room, closed the door and held tightly to the knob. Linda ran to activate “Code Gray” and ran back to hold the other doorknob as we waited for help. As we waited, we heard the patient striking and ransacking in the room. The security officers also sensed the dangerous nature of the situation did not want to open the door and so they called (sheriff) for backup. Dr. Beatty and a male nurse from ER also responded and disarmed the patient and 2 sheriff officers handcuffed him until he calmed down.

Erica Bowers
One Sunday two co-workers & I met at Wellness North to practice for Group Step Launch. (We practice together before each quarterly release at Wellness) We got through the first 20 minutes when one stated she did not feel well. She was against the wall & started to act confused. Erica & I were across the room when we looked at each other & knew something was wrong. Erica ran towards this employee while I ran towards the closet to grab a chair. By the time I got to them Erica had wrapped her arms around the employee - holding her up until we could lower her to the floor. This employee was having a seizure. EMS was called and the employee was still seizing. She was transported to NCO and after a 2 day stay she was deemed to be fine. I truly believe that Erica saved this employee from a critical fall or possible head injury. The floor in the group room is very hard and the employee had lost consciousness. Erica kept her from crashing down.
Donna Gilman
Donna has donated fabric, and sewn hats to give to cancer patients who have lost their hair. Upon hearing that the Susan B. Koman society was running short of tote bags for their patients, Donna, again, found fabric and created a large quantity of tote bags to donate to Susan B. Koman society to fill with information and give to women with a new diagnosis of breast cancer. This has all been done in her "spare" time, with fabric she has purchased.