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A veteran nurse at Saint Michael’s Medical Center who demonstrated bravery and commitment during the pandemic was honored with the DAISY Foundation’s Daisy Award, which recognizes the super-human work nurses do for patients and families every day.

Fatima Aguilar who works as a telemetry nurse was recognized for her extraordinary strength and clinical skills and always doing what is in the best interest of the patient.

Aguilar started working in 1987 at St. James Hospita, where she was an obstetrical nurse. When St. James cloed in 2008, she joined Saint Michael’s and switched over to telemetry in the middle of her career.

“There is no doubt that wherever Fatima works, she gives her all to the patients, their families, her co-workers and the facility,” said her supervisor Joann Sigall. “During the pandemic she showed such bravery and commitment, again always placing her patients and their welfare first.”

Sigall said she witnessed her conversations on the phone with families that were not allowed to visit their loved ones during the pandemic.

“When she promised she would take care of the patient I saw her take her time with her patients and fulfill her promise to each of the families,” Sigall said. “Even behind the mask and all the PPE you could still see her smile while concentrating on keeping everyone safe and following through on a plan of care for her patients. She is very sincere and compassionate.”

The DAISY (an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System) Foundation was started in Glen Allen, Calif., by family members of J. Patrick Barnes, who died from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), a little-known but not uncommon auto-immune disease.

As a way of thanking Barnes’s nurses, his family established the award program.

The DAISY Award ceremony, held before colleagues, honored Aguilar with the “Extraordinary Nurse” certificate, which reads: “In deep appreciation of all you do, who you are, and the incredibly meaningful difference you make in the lives of so many people.”

Aguilar also received a DAISY Award pin, a hand-carved serpentine stone sculpture, entitled “A Healer’s Touch,” and of course, daisies.

To read more about the DAISY award, please visit DAISYfoundation.org.