We have been receiving nominations for two months. Throughout this process, we have discovered so many dedicated and deserving people working in the forefront and behind the scenes to keep Colorado moving forward.
We would like to thank all the nominators for bringing us such compelling stories of their family and friends who exemplify the meaning of a true Frontline hero.
We had 43 nominations…and each one shared an amazing story with us.
Some nearly bought us to tears and some made us cheer on the dedication and resourcefulness of the Colorado spirit.
Selflessness • Puts the wellbeing of others before their own physical and emotional needs and does it consistently over years of dedication.
Bravery • Pushes ahead, even in the face of personal challenge and danger.
Energetic • Keeps going when their bodies stay stop and so many others would have given up.
Creativity • Finds new and innovative ways to resolve obstacles and finds better solutions to problems that face not only themselves, but also their community.
Resourcefulness • Makes the most of less and finds new ways to move forward.
Committed • Works through whatever comes their way and stays for the long haul, even when leaving or quitting would be easier.
Confidence…continues on their path, knowing that if not them, then who.
Finally Empathetic • The ability to hold someone’s hand and help them feel safe in what could be a defining moment in their life, and even in the final moments of life.
Every nominee whose story we received is a Colorado hero.
Bear with me on this one, because it may seem at first glance that I am just nominating my wife. But I think when you read about the kind of nurse and the kind of woman she is you’ll understand why I risked the stigma of nominating someone with whom I live. Kristi is not just my wife, but is the single best nurse I have ever met, I hope in this brief account you can get a small taste of what I and so many patients and coworkers know so intimately.
Kristi has been fighting the battle of Covid-19 on the very front lines. She works in the ICU and therefore sees only the most acute cases (a large portion of which have been Covid cases). What many people don’t know in reading all of the accounts in the news about lack of ventilators is that the real bottle-neck in caring for the sickest people isn’t actually the number of ventilators; the bottleneck is the number of people trained in their use. Kristi, as an ICU nurse, has been using ventilators for years now, but she is also one who teaches other nurses how to use them.
At Littleton Adventist, where she works, she is the main nurse in charge of orienting and training most of the new nurses entering that unit, so she has been instrumental in allowing her hospital to manage the number of cases and be prepared for an uncontrolled outbreak (which thankfully, didn’t happen). She has been doing that alongside her normal bed-side duties for over 3 years now. Due to her extensive list of certifications, ICU acumen, and ability to teach, she is widely considered one of the most knowledgeable nurses in the hospital and her expertise is often requested in unusual cases. Her heart for teaching doesn’t even end with the hospital, she currently also works one extra day a week for Platt College as a clinical instructor for students doing their clinical studies in the ICU.
Kristi is never shy to assist a colleague. Whenever needed she also subs in as charge nurse. In that role she is fantastic, leading effectively, willingly helping others, and capably handling the many codes hospital-wide to which she is called Covid-related or otherwise. She was asked on numerous occasions by the leadership of the hospital to be one of the full-time charge nurses but has consistently refused because she feels her true calling is at the bedside.
The bedside is what makes her an exceptional nurse. Her technical knowledge is superb, but her care of patients and families going through some of the hardest times in their lives is peerless. She lamented in the middle of the lockdown how no one was allowed to be with their loved ones in the unit, even if they were dying. She came home more than once in tears as she described being the only one who could hold a dying man’s hand as he passed from this life to the next. Family members were forced to wait outside per government orders. So Kristi loved them the best she could, holding their hands and singing to them as they died when there was nothing else medically anyone could do to help. Kristi’s mother is also a nurse of 40 years who has worked for the last 20 of those as a hospice nurse. Kristi has taken her mother’s example of love and care of those dying, and carried it into the hospital setting. You can see it in how she loves people who are on their last days and empathizes with the families as they struggle to process death. Family members are always grateful for the way Kristi teaches them what is going on in ways they can understand, and comforts them in times of tragedy. Kristi never imagined she would be in a position where she would be the only one even allowed to be in the room at the end, but she sees it as her mission to care for the lonely patients to the best of her ability.
Kristi has been nominated for, and has won many awards in the nursing field. But her goal and her ultimate aim is always to be the one at the bedside, caring for people with precision for their physical needs and love for their emotional needs. She has done this consistently throughout all of the Covid crisis helping the sickest patients. Oh yeah, and she’s done it while being pregnant for the last two months. To be honest, I’m not concerned whether she wins or not, I’m just honored I get a chance to brag about her in a time where no one is even allowed to see the tireless work she does to make people well. Yes, she is my wife, but I can’t imagine a more deserving worker to be recognized for her service.
Multiple Daisy Awards
FROM IHT: We love your story of comfort and devotion to your patients and dedication, perseverance and service to your hospital, and community.
We are honored to share your story with Colorado and to award you a new Freeflow hot tub.
Thank you for all that you do. Get ready to start relaxing and we hope this will provide a great backyard getaway for you and your family to enjoy for many years to come.
We would like to thank all the nominators for bringing us such compelling stories of their family and friends.
From all of us at International Hot Tub, THANK YOU for joing us in honoring Colorado Frontline workers. Stay well and happy hot tubbing.