Cassie was recognized after making a special connection with J, a 28-year-old Tuscola native who was receiving hospice care. J wanted to thank her for the compassionate care she provided and for bringing him peace during his final days. Sadly, he passed away this summer after a valiant cancer battle, but not before helping his mother compose a letter for Cassie. He was grateful to learn that Cassie would receive the DAISY Award in August before he died.
In her letter, J’s mother wrote: "Cassie grabbed my son's hand and talked to him at his level during their very first conversation. My son didn't even know she was going to be his nurse, yet she tried to comfort him knowing it had been an emotional day starting hospice. We felt an immediate connection with her and we could tell that she genuinely cared. Because of that, we knew that she wanted to be his full-time nurse. We have had a lot of nurses but never had been helped to enter hospice, which is such a scary situation.
My son used humor to stay out of that dark, depressing place and Cassie understood his humor and gave it back to him. She treated J like a friend, not as a patient. She had been a good educator for our family, as well, which was vital for his care. Cassie has also been very responsible in taking care of all my son's medical needs.
This is not an experience anyone wants to go through, but it would not have been the same without Cassie. She made an undesirable hospice experience one of security and comfort. Her time and patience made my son and my family more at peace. She is truly my angel of hope.