Samantha French went above and beyond her job title. She took great care of my Mother-in-law. When K was in ICU, Samantha would go down to check on her. Anytime my wife or my sister-in-law would express any concerns she was always on top of it. She not only followed her medical training, but she always trusted her instincts. My Mother-in-law adored her! She always asked my wife to find out if Samantha was working when she knew she was going to be admitted to the hospital. If anyone deserves this DAISY Award it is Samantha French!
My family’s life was forever changed in August. My Mother, K, was diagnosed with stage 3B lung cancer. It was such a scary time for my family. My Mother had been very, very sick and to even get her to the doctor was such a hassle. My Mother absolutely hated going to the doctor. The first day my Mom got admitted to the 5th floor, God sent us an angel. Her name is Samantha French. When I first met her, I thought, “This poor girl has no idea what she’s in for.” My Mom was a difficult woman. Within an hour she proved me wrong. She could handle any sassiness my Mother threw at her. Sam quickly became family!
One time in particular my Mom’s vitals were going crazy and she had to be rushed to ICU. Samantha knew how scared we were, and she was getting worried about my Mom as well. When her shift was up she didn’t go home, she went to see my Mom. She always checked on my Mom no matter what floor she was on. One day Mom got admitted to the 4th floor and told us she was tired, she wanted to give up. She made the decision to go home and live out what time she had left, and Sam and Mom’s other nurses came and cried with her.
My Mom told them how much she loved them, and they told her how much they loved her. My mother did end up doing treatments and going back to the 5th floor a few more times before she passed and each time we had a sigh of relief knowing that she was in Samantha’s hands. Samantha was never just a “nurse”, that doesn’t do enough justice to everything she did. She was my Mom’s guardian angel. As I write this I have tears streaming down my face. Thank you so much NEA Baptist for having such amazing people who work for you. And thank you, Samantha French, for taking such great care of my Mother and for loving her. You will always be family!
Why is Sam so special? I don’t know that words could ever express that. I first met Sam somewhere around August 2017. My Mother was admitted and within 24 hours we found out she had an inoperable form of cancer (Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Lung). From that day, until my mother passed in November, we spent several weeks at NEA Baptist. My Mother was not a fan of doctors...let alone hospitals. Before we found out her condition was serious (and after a family intervention), my Mother swore she would not go to the doctor and she would not go into any hospital.
After diagnosis, she did what she had to, but not willingly. My Mother tried to leave the facility and give up hope on more than one occasion. In the short 101 days we had during her illness, one particular nurse became super close to our family. Not because there was any reason to, other than she herself figured out on her own and very quickly how to deal with my mother. When Mom was upset, when she was mad, when she was trying to give up...Sam treated my Mother just as my sisters and I would. Sam treated her with the same care and concern as we did, but also knew how to get stern with her. My Mother even jokingly told Sam herself one day that she acted just like one of her daughters. It never mattered what floor we were on, Sam would always find Mom and come see her.
I will never forget the morning I received an urgent call from Mom’s overnight nurse telling me I needed to get up there, something was wrong...so I did just that. At that time, a shift change was taking place and Sam had taken over. My Mother’s vitals were dropping, and no one could figure out why. Sam went into action, quickly rushing her to ICU. She kept close tabs on Mom the rest of that week. So many times, you don’t want to get close to patients and need to keep somewhat of a distance but remain professional. Everyone in that hospital did that, but there is just something different about how everyone on 5 West does it, but more importantly, how Samantha does it.
I remember at one point in time Mom was on the 4th floor and decided she had enough. She was tired of being poked and prodded, tired of tests, tired of all of it. She spoke with her oncologist and decided she was going home to deal with things how she saw fit. I was super upset but respected her decision. I needed to get out of the room after signing an advance directive with my Mother and being prayed over by the hospital Chaplain. I walked to the 5th floor and saw Sam and a couple of others who had been so great to us and told them the decision Mom had made and that we were going home. All 3 of them dropped what they were doing and came down to Mom’s room to have a beautiful, emotional, loving talk with her and tell her how much they would think about her and gave her and me medical advice. Sam hugged Mom like one of her own. She made it a point to keep in touch with us. That is going way above and beyond. Sam was one of the first people outside of my family who we notified of Mom’s passing. She was heartbroken. I literally could go on for hours about how great the entire 5th floor is, but most importantly Samantha French. She has become extended close family. She was and is one of, if not the most amazing medical professionals I have ever met in my life. She deserves this award and so much more. I can only imagine if she treated us, complete strangers to her this way, how she treats the rest of her patients. She is loved by the staff, you can see that in the way they speak with her and work with her. She is definitely a superstar. I will never be able to forget her.