NOTE: THIS STORY WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE BOHOL CHRONICLE’S SUNDAY PRINT EDITION.
A Boholana nurse in the United States has received a pair of gold-diamond earrings from an American jeweler that so valued frontliners in risky service to humanity against the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Pulled to a New York hospital intensive care unit since the start of the viral attack, Betty Veloso-Garcia also got a grateful, touching message on facebook from jeweler Smith and Mara (SM): “Thank you so much for everything during this time and always.”
The US is the only country in the world which confirmed COVID-19 cases have breached the one million mark with deaths likewise unequalled in number.
Garcia, who hails from Tagbilaran City, has long resided in New Jersey with her family and worked at the Presbyterian Hospital in Lower Manhattan, New York, a five-hour ride from her home state.
She used to be assigned at the hospital’s post-anesthesia care unit (PACU), but pulled out to also work at the intensive care unit (ICU) because of her experience in it, too.
Garcia is both a certified anesthesia care and a certified critical care nurse.
“I could just have stayed home in New Jersey. But I thought what good are my skills if I don’t use them?” she told her younger sister, Balilihan Mayor Pureza Veloso-Chatto, who is the wife of Rep. Edgar Chatto.
While focused on her self-endangering work caring for the COVID-19 patients, Garcia was unmindful that she was among the medical frontliners in America nominated in a search for dedicated frontliners done online by the SM.
She received the “Gratitude Giveaway” gold-diamond earrings from the SM, which further posted in gratitude to Garcia and all other frontliners: “THANK YOU to all of the frontline workers putting your lives and health at risk for ALL of us! This giveaway is to celebrate all of you!”
Last February before the pandemic, her hospital PACU fellows gave her the “Shining Star Award” for a good team leader, a “magnet champion,” and a positive and an innovative team member.
In October last year, Garcia was conferred the “Daisy Award” from the Daisy Foundation, which honors nurses internationally in memory of a son of the award initiator.
The award, which name is the acronym for Disease Attacking the Immune System, was initiated by the Barnes family who were awestruck by clinical skills.
It is a legacy-memory honor for the care and compassion of the nurses who cared for their son Patrick.
The Barnes created the award to say “thank you” to the nurses everywhere who are deserving.
The award was started in 1999 and has been used by more than 4,000 facilities in the world in honoring their dedicated nurses.
Garcia’s award came after one of her patients wrote to the leadership of the hospital how she went above and beyond her scope of duty.
The letter from the patient, who was a male, was his way of telling everyone in the facility how grateful he was for the extraordinary service of the Boholana nurse.
A sculpture, handmade from Zimbabwe and symbolizing the healer’s touch, is given to each Daisy awardee.
Just last March, Garcia came home to Bohol and turned over to the provincial government and Gov. Arthur Yap, through Provincial Administrator Kathyrin Fe Pioquinto, and the Balilihan LGU one automated external defibrillator (AED) each.
The AED is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnosis the life-threatening cardiac arrythmias of ventricular fibrillation and pulseless ventricular tachycardia, allowing the art to reestablish an effective rhythm.
The vital devices came from the alumni association of the then Bohol Provincial Hospital School of Nursing (BPHSN), which last international reunion Garcia had chaired.
Garcia is an elder sister of Tagbilaran City Vice Mayor Jose Antonio Veloso. (Ven rebo Arigo)