On behalf of my mother Evonne Tolbert and me (daughter), we would like to recognize Rebecca Clayton for the Spirit of Caring. My stepdad spent over five months in the surgical intensive care unit after liver transplant surgery.
If there was a day that he could get out of bed and Rebecca was caring for him, it was going to be accomplished. This included when he was on a ventilator, post tracheostomy, and even when he was not alert to know. The days he was alert, Rebecca would take his bed out of the room so he wouldn’t ask her to go back to bed.
One day just an hour being out of bed turned into all day and definitely put a smile on his face. On one occasion, my mom told me that my stepdad went outside for a couple of hours. My thoughts were, an ICU patient? On a ventilator? Who was the nurse? She said “Rebecca” with joy! Tears begin to roll down my eyes. Rebecca coordinated her team of fellow nurses, patient care technicians, and respiratory therapist. This task required teamwork, advocacy, and critical thinking exemplifying excellence in patient-centeredness. I pictured the sun hitting his face and the breeze that may grazed his cheek, all because of Rebecca.
When telling her thank you, I mentioned it was soup for the soul for him to have that experience after so many months of not being outside. There was so much trust that we had when Rebecca was there. We were able to rest well because we knew she would make sure he was being cared for regardless if she was the primary nurse, charge nurse, or simply a team member on the unit.
While all of the nurses on the surgical intensive care team at UTMB work as a team and also deserving of recognition, my mother and I would like to take this opportunity to recognize and thank Rebecca Clayton for her ongoing caring, compassion and excellence in care she provided to my stepdad. If he was still here with us, he would thank Rebecca too!