Colleen LeClair-Smith

Colleen LeClair-Smith

Colleen LeClair-Smith, MSN, NEA-BC, RNC

Nursing Recruitment
University Medical Center (TX)
Lubbock, Texas
United States

One morning Colleen came across a visitor crying in the hallway. Being the nurturing person she is, Colleen stopped to talk to her to see what she could do to help. The visitor explained to Colleen that her 21 year old son was a patient on one of the units and was not doing well. They had been planning to go home, but unexpectedly he developed complications and would require a chest tube; therefore, prolonging their stay. The mother told Colleen they were from out of town and had already checked out of their hotel. They didn’t have clean clothes or anywhere to stay. With a daughter at home, and another son away at college, the mother was dealing with a lot on her plate.
Colleen gave a listening ear and comforted the mother the best she could. Colleen told her to gather all of their laundry and she would be back to take care of the washing. Colleen got to work. She put all of her obligations aside and focused on helping this family. She immediately left for Walmart and came back with a huge basket. She filled the basket with food items, books, magazines, water, and various other goodies. She also started making calls to the Ronald McDonald House and other hotels in the area looking for medical rates. Colleen also contacted Social Services to see they could offer any assistance.
When Colleen took the basket to the family, the patient’s mother refused to give her the dirty clothes because they felt she had already done too much. That didn’t stop Colleen. She returned back to the room with laundry detergent, softener, and a roll of quarters. She had also secured a hotel with laundry facilities at a discounted rate.
Through the remainder of the patient’s hospital stay, Colleen continued to check on them and provide emotional support. She even went to say goodbye when the patient was discharged. We had the opportunity to visit with the patient’s mother and father. They were clearly touched and humbled by Colleen’s generosity…. a bond had been formed. Last week Colleen received a card from the family that included very kind and heartfelt words thanking her for everything she had done for them. They even included a photograph of the patient and his sister. Colleen was tearful as she was reading it. You could see how dear the patient and family had become to her.