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“June’s Story” by Kate Shields – 2016 Bursary Winner

An event that has forever changed my family and significantly influenced who I am today is one of my sister’s battle for life.  This terrible ordeal has created how I envision myself caring for patients and their families in the future as I graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree and become a Registered Nurse.

June's Story - RNFBC

In 2001 I was fourteen and my sister who was twenty two became very ill and ended up in a coma in Vancouver General Hospital in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Her prognosis was bad with little percent chance of survival, and if she did survive, the fate of permanent disability and brain damage were almost guaranteed by doctors.  This month was a nightmare for our family.  No words can explain the amount of agony we were suffering.  Within this devastation were some angel nurses.  The amazing part was that the care didn’t end with the medical treatment for my sister in the ICU, the care extended to twenty plus family members, giving us each individual support.  I cannot even relay the entirety of remarkable actions these nurses offered to support our family.  A personal experience that has forever made an impression on me was a hug that I received from a nurse.  I was young, confused, terrified and traumatized.  I was angry at the situation and physically attempted to attack a nurse.  My sisters stopped me and that nurse responded with a hug and it was a moment of relief and comfort.  This nurse saw my pain and treated me with a simple hug, despite my actions.  It was remarkable.

All of the nurses’ actions were performed without a hint of judgement, frustration or exhaustion, only good hearted genuine empathy and care.  Their behaviour has had a forever lasting effect on me.  I could think of no better way to repay those situations other than by reflecting them myself.  I want to be able to give that same type of exceptional care and support and to do all I can to alleviate even one ounce of pain for my future patients and their families in their times of devastation.

This grant would help support me in being one step further to my end goal of graduating and becoming a Registered Nurse and being able to positively influence lives for many years to come.  I am ecstatic to relay that this story has a miraculous outcome.  My sister survived with a full recovery and a hundred percent cognitive and physical abilities with the exception of one hand amputation.  A complete miracle as stated by the doctors.