Kelli Ashby presents herself with kindness, empathy and generosity. Kelli Ashby was herself a trauma patient in NCCU and had to deal with all that comes with having endured a head trauma, not to mention the emotional trauma that the family dealt with. On multiple occasions Kelly has spoken and encouraged patients and family members who have spent time in our unit due to a head trauma.
One such case involved a 26-year-old trauma patient who had a shearing brain injury. She was in a comatose state on arrival. The patient's mother and family were extremely distraught and scared of all that the diagnosis would mean. The mother did not eat, sleep and was having a very hard time coping with the situation. One of the nurses on the unit showed the mother a newspaper clipping about Kelli and all that she overcame which eventually led her to become a nurse in the very same unit that she had been a patient in. The mother wanted to meet Kelli and hear her story. Kelli was assigned to be the patient's nurse that night and Kelli spent many hours sitting with the mother and sharing her story and giving support to the family.
The patient started to wake up slowly and have some signs of slow improvement. Kelli knew that it was going to be a long process and that there would be a lot of new types of stress that would be laid on the mother's lap; Kelli went into action again. Kelli asked the patient's mother if she would like to meet (Kelli's) her mother so that she could ask her questions that Kelli herself could not answer; it would be from a mother's perspective. The patient's mother eagerly agreed and Kelli arranged for her mother to meet the patient's mother in the cafeteria for coffee. The mothers spent time talking and crying together. Kelli has come in on her day off to check on not only this patient's mother but also another patient's mother in the very next room. She has gone as far as to bring each of them a care package that she herself put together.
Kelli does not look for recognition or a pat on the back for what she does for these families; she takes in upon herself to reach out to them. Because Kelli can empathize with these patients and their families she builds a bond with them that starts from her heart.