Jessica Everhart has worked at IU Health for six years. She was nominated by a respiratory therapist based on work the two have done together, particularly with a transplant patient near the end of his life.
"He faced some difficult health decisions and Jessica took the time to allow the patient (who was trached and vented) to speak by phone to his wife who was out of state. Jessica held the phone to the patient's ear while he listened to his wife, then watched his responses on a letter board so that she could relay messages to the wife. She went above and beyond the patient's expectations, putting him at ease. The next morning, the patient passed away. The phone conversation Everhart facilitated was the last time he was able to communicate with his wife.
Jessica's manager Natasha Thalley said: "Jessica communicated back and forth between the patient and his wife for nearly an hour. She listened to the wife, restated her words to the patient, and then waited as he spelled out letters on a board to put together sentences that she could repeat to the wife."
The exchange was emotional, but Jessica persisted in the interest of her patient - a testament to nursing advocacy.