Inspiring Stories

A Love for Daisies: Methodist Nurse Spreads Cheer by 'Looking for the Positive'

Published: July 31, 2019

In her pocket, acute rehabilitation nurse Hayden Kilgore, BSN, RN, carries a pair of medical scissors with little daisies printed all over them. Her hard-to-miss badge reel also has a large plastic daisy on it.

“I don’t know,” she said with a laugh. “I’ve just always loved them.”

And now that she’s a DAISY Award recipient, Kilgore wears a pin that showcases the same white and yellow flower she’s been fond of for years.

Making days a little brighter

Daisies represent cheerfulness – something Kilgore provides to all of her patients.

“I just always try to do whatever I can to hopefully make their days a little brighter,” she said.

And Kilgore recently extended that cheer to a patient's daughter.

In her letter nominating Kilgore for the DAISY Award, the daughter explained that her mother, who was battling cancer, was admitted to Methodist Hospital for a blood clot in her lung.

During her hospitalization, things took a turn for the worse. Her prognosis didn’t look good, but “Hayden treated my mother like she was the most important person at all times,” the daughter wrote.

“It was hard,” Kilgore said. “It was kind of a shock to me, like, ‘OK, I have to pull it together. I have to handle this for them and see what I can do to make something so horrible a little more tolerable.’”

“My mom was having a lot of anxiety with the news, and Hayden went right to work coordinating with doctors to get permission to give her something to help,” the daughter wrote. “I observed Hayden interacting with a number of coworkers during the day. ... She treated every single person with the same care and respect, always thanking them for what they did to contribute to my mom's care.”

“She gave me a big hug, and we spent some time outside of the room,” Kilgore said. “I didn’t want her to feel like she was alone.”


Looking for the positive

Kilgore, who’s been a nurse for about a year, admits that cases like this can really wear on her emotions.

She copes by talking with other coworkers and “looking for the positive – always.”

“No matter how small it might be,” she said. “If you can find something positive in something terrible, it helps.”

Honored with the DAISY pin during her recognition ceremony, Kilgore listened as the end of her nomination letter was read aloud: “I believe Hayden deserves to be recognized for what an extraordinary nurse is. Thank you for your consideration.”

Knowing the patient had since passed away, Kilgore’s eyes became glossy.

“I would do it again,” Kilgore said of the care she provided under such emotional circumstances. “For any one of my patients.”

More resources

About the Author

Jessica Gill, the External Communications Manager for Methodist Health System, is a former television news anchor and journalist. She has a passion for story-telling and illustrating Methodist’s Meaning of Care.

See more articles from Jessica Gill
Photo of Jessica Gill