My first medical encounter with Dorothy was 36 years ago when she worked in Labor and Delivery and she was my nurse. She had just come on duty at 11pm and she could not have been any more upbeat and encouraging as she helped keep me distracted while the spinal was administered until I went into delivery. She made the painful experience of child birth much more bearable because of her outgoing personality, the care she provided and her genuine concern for my well-being.
A number of years later, there she was again, providing her knowledge and expertise when I was a patient at Albany Surgical Associates. She calmed my fears and answered my questions in such a comforting way. She came in the room smiling and I left the room smiling, because of her nursing skills and out-going personality.
Fast forward to several years ago when following a mammogram and a sonogram, I was called back to the Carlton Breast Center for an ultrasound. I was not only scared of what the outcome might be but very anxious because I was to leave town for a week on a family vacation which caused the ultrasound to be scheduled over a week later. It was Dorothy who learned of my plans and made sure that I was worked into the busy diagnostic schedule and informed of the results before leaving town so that hopefully, I would be able to leave on my vacation with great peace of mind, which I did. This kind gesture on her part was a true gift that words can’t describe.
Most recently, my 38 year old daughter was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. While that was a very dark day for our family, once again, it was Dorothy who brightened our situation by sitting with my daughter following her meeting with the doctor until I could get to the hospital to be with her. She answered our many questions with such expertise and calm and her reassurance was invaluable. She was there for us in a way that means more than words can describe. Having been a Breast Cancer patient and now survivor herself, her words meant a great deal knowing she had already been on the journey ahead of us. She became a great resource for both my daughter and me and, through it all, her true concern was evident. She found out when my daughter’s surgery was scheduled and came down to Surgical Waiting to check on her that day-what a special nurse!
Dorothy exemplifies what the DAISY Award is all about. She always puts her patient first. She goes over and above what one would expect and does it with such a happy spirit and always with a bright smile on her face, never showing any reason for what might be a negative outcome. Our experience at PPMH throughout the cancer experience was one of ultimate caring and excellent medical care and Dorothy played a big part in that experience. I will be forever grateful that she was there the night my baby was born and there again when it was not such a happy occasion. Phoebe Putney is a better place because of Dorothy, her dedication to what she loves to do, and the compassion with which she does it.