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Everyday Heroes 2018: Jessica Garcia

"She helped her wife grieve after she passed and still goes and visits with her. That is a hero."

Everyday Hero Jessica Garcia.
Everyday Hero Jessica Garcia.

After being discharged from the hospital, a patient still felt uncomfortable being at home alone.

Certified Registered Nurse Jessica Garcia took the extra step and stayed overnight at the patient’s home. Garcia brought the patient back to the hospital the next day after she was feeling pain, and doctors found a blood clot in her lung.

“She calls me her angel,” Garcia said.

Garcia works around 72 hours a week, working 36 hours at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital and 36 hours at JourneyCare. On top of the hectic work schedule, she is a single mother to four children.

“You just make it work,” Garcia said. “You have to support them and, being a single mom, you have to do what you have to do.”

Registered Nurse Victoria Butur said Garcia goes above and beyond what is expected of her, adding that she constantly is bouncing from both jobs to pay bills and does so without complaints and without it affecting her work or her patients.

A patient felt uncomfortable with male staff after she was sexually abused by males in her family throughout her childhood, Butur said. Garcia spoke up and made sure only female staff were assigned to the patient after she opened up to her about her childhood.

“She built a relationship with the couple and later would be taking care of the patient on her deathbed at home,” Butur said. “She helped her wife grieve after she passed and still goes and visits with her. That is a hero.”

Each morning, Garcia meets all her patients, gets them bathed, feeds them breakfast, then changes beds and sheets and takes patients for walks.

“I sit and listen to them when they need to talk and I get them special things,” Garcia said. “I had a lady and all she wanted was pumpkin pie around Thanksgiving, so I went to the cafeteria and got her some. It’s the little things like that that make people happy because they know you care.”

Garcia was inspired to become a CNA because her mom was in the health field and she feels happy to help others.

“I’m a very shy and scared person, but when I’m at work, it’s a totally different atmosphere because they need me and I’m there to help them,” Garcia said.

Another patient had multiple ailments and was in the hospital for an extended period of time.

“Most thought of this woman as somewhat demanding and uptight, but not Jessica,” Butur said. “Jessica had compassion for this woman, and did not just see her as a patient in room 35. She was a woman who missed her family, whose son was in England and hopefully coming to visit soon.”

Garcia even arranged to have the patient’s hair cut and hired someone from a salon to come in. She said she hopes people know they are cared about.

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