Lea Matthews, R.N., has been recognized as a DAISY Award winner for FirstHealth of the Carolinas.
Matthews, a nurse who works at Reid Heart Center, was nominated for the award by the wife of a patient she helped to care for prior to his passing.
“Lea took care of my husband at a time when we learned there was no hope for his survival and when we made the decision to stop all treatment and move to Hospice,” Barbara McGowan said in her nomination letter.
John “Max” McGowan passed on Feb. 25, 2020.
“Lea’s care was exemplary, both from the standpoint of technical skill as a nurse and her kindness and compassion for my husband,” Barbara McGowan said. “She exhibited a positive attitude and used humor with him, which he really enjoyed. She also had an attitude of acceptance without fear, and she was supportive of me at the very worst moment of my life.”
Judi Russell, R.N., nurse manager at Reid Heart Center, said Lea’s efforts exemplify the core purpose of FirstHealth – To Care For People.
“Lea is a wonderful nurse, and she is one of thousands of nurses at FirstHealth who work tirelessly every day to provide this level of care,” Russell said. “Even in devastating moments, nurses like Lea can offer exceptional treatment and compassion to those who trust FirstHealth to take care of them. We are proud of Lea’s work.”
Barbara McGowan said she will always be grateful for the care her husband received.
“My husband’s condition was complex, and over the past year, I’ve had nurses at other locations tell me they were afraid to care for him. I think it was stressful for Lea as well, but she worked with us like a soldier on a mission,” Barbara wrote. “Her compassion and comfort helped us tremendously.”
The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses was established by the Daisy Foundation, a not-for-profit, based in Glen Ellen, Calif. The foundation was started by family members in memory of J. Patrick Barnes, who died at the age of 33 from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura, a little known but not uncommon auto-immune disease.
The care Barnes and his family received from nurses inspired this unique means of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patients’ families. Today, there are more than 2,800 health care facilities in all 50 states and 17 other countries honoring their nurses with the DAISY Award.
FirstHealth of the Carolinas, which includes Moore Regional Hospital, Moore Regional Hospital – Richmond, Moore Regional Hospital – Hoke and Montgomery Memorial Hospital, recognizes an extraordinary nurse each month and has since 2014.
For more information on the DAISY Award, or to nominate a deserving nurse, visit FirstHealth’s website.