“I’m Just So Tired”
Dan had been a resident of the Hampton House, a long term care facility in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania for 2 years already. His condition made his ability to communicate quite difficult. And though there were nurses by his side, working to make his days happy, there came a time when Dan just wanted to give up. The physical and emotional toll his health was taking on him became overwhelming. He was just so tired. In fact, he stopped eating.
Enter Kerry Moyer, LPN and member of the care team at Hampton House since 1996.
“My Buddy Dan”
She and Dan had a connection. His tough exterior would soften up when Kerry came in for her shift. He knew that despite his communication issues, Kerry would go out of her way to talk to him; to make him feel important and appreciated.
It was second nature to Kerry. Ever since she was a little girl, she knew she wanted to be a nurse. And while some little girls grow out of that dream, Kerry’s stuck with her.
Following the Dream
Her father, who was a psychiatric aide at Danville State Hospital in Pennsylvania, understood the healthcare industry and saw that his daughter had what it takes to be a successful caregiver; so he encouraged her to stay on track and get the education she needed.
She started at Hampton House as a nursing aide, but went on to obtain her LPN from Wilkes-Barre Area Career & Technical Centerthrough their practical nursing program. She was happy to pursue her career at Hampton House because, as she says, “everyone here is like family.”
So when Kerry learned that Dan had refused yet another meal, she sat with him to find out what was going on.
“I’m just so tired of everything,” he revealed. “Nothing tastes good; it all tastes the same.”
Potato Pancake Medicine
Kerry’s response was to find out what types of foods Dan enjoyed eating, and then took it further to ask about his family, and the things he liked to do when he was younger.
Something so simple, a small act of compassion like simply taking the time to allow him to reminisce, got Dan perking up. He told Kerry that he suddenly had a craving for potato pancakes! He even committed to eating them if Kerry could get some from somewhere.
That morning after her shift, and without a second thought, Kerry went home to her own kitchen and whipped up a batch of a dozen potato pancakes, then promptly returned to Hampton House to serve them to Dan. He was so thrilled he ate every single one of them. To this day, Dan still talks about those pancakes and Kerry’s loving gesture. He credits them both for regaining his appetite, and his fight!
Setting the Example
Kerry continues to make time for Dan every chance she gets. He’ll talk with her about movies, and food, and childhood memories. And he still thanks her for the pancakes.
Donna Mieczkowski, RN, Kerry’s supervisor isn’t surprised to hear this story.
“Kerry is a mother of two beautiful girls,” Donna tells us. “She volunteers frequently for the Boy Scouts and a special needs camp. She also works in addition to her full time position at Hampton as a Special needs pediatric nurse. Kerry likes to bake, and will bake for special occasions for her coworkers. She is one very special Lady, with a Heart of Gold and just as giving to others.”
We asked Kerry what the most important lesson she’s learned as a nurse is, and she responds, “Listen to your patients, and your gut. Be as sympathetic as you can be, and have patience.”
Clearly, these lessons have stuck with Kerry as she consistently sets this example with the work she does.
Mother, Sister, Aunt, and Friend
With her giving heart it makes sense that the thing that frustrates her most in her work is when a person is very ill and needs her help, and yet there’s just nothing more she can do other than to be kind and keep trying.
Through Hampton House, Kerry has worked in hospice, home health, physician’s offices, and pediatric home care. She believes that having a variety of experiences makes for a more well-rounded nurse.
At home, Kerry’s family is always encouraging; they take care of one another. And her daughters are following her example of compassion and caring.
“I think we all need a little more kindness and understanding in life.”
We think with Kerry around, the patients and staff at Hampton House will be blessed with just that!
Thank you, Kerry for all you do to positively impact the lives of those around you. Your Life Story inspires us!