Inspiring Stories

The Meaning of Care - Everywhere

Split-second decisions

Joe Ducharme was heading home a little early from work, looking forward to a quiet evening away from the office. But in a split-second, it all changed.

A car just ahead of him in traffic slammed on the brakes, causing a chain-reaction crash. The first two cars swerved into a semi in the lane next to Joe. That semi veered to the left, smashing into Joe and pinning his vehicle in between the 18-wheeler and the center barrier on Interstate 80. 

Joe escaped serious injury, but was understandably shaken.

“My car was completely destroyed,” said Joe. “It was oddly quiet. All I could hear was NPR still playing on the radio. I crawled across my passenger seat to escape from my car because my door was jammed and blocked shut.”

Seeking out the injured

In the aftermath of the wreck, Joe says a few people came to his vehicle window. One by one, they all asked if he was ok. The third was a woman he would soon learn was Haiden Brand, a NICU nurse at Methodist Women’s Hospital.

“She checked on the others and after she saw they were being attended to, came back to me,” said Joe. “It was freezing, and I only had a light jacket. She offered to pull her car up behind mine and give me a warm place to sit and charge my phone while they processed the accident.”

For two hours they sat and talked and waited. Joe says it meant everything.

“She could have been one of the thousands of others who sat in the traffic jam and did nothing,” said Joe. “But that wouldn’t have been her personality. She was super sweet, super friendly and kind.” 

And when the accident was cleaned up and Joe’s car towed away, Haiden took it one step further: She drove Joe home. 

Saying thank you

In order to say ‘thank you’ for all her kindness and compassion, Joe wrote a note – not just to Haiden, but to Methodist. He wanted her employer to know just what kind of person and employee they had in Haiden.

“I cannot thank Haiden enough for her time and compassion,” wrote Joe. “I can only imagine what an awesome NICU nurse she must be. I will never be able to drive up on an accident and not think of how I might be of help to someone else, and that is all thanks to Haiden.”

Because of her actions – both inside hospital walls and out – Haiden received the DAISY Award for Methodist Hospital and Methodist Women’s Hospital. The DAISY Award is a nationwide program that rewards and celebrates extraordinary skill and compassionate care given by nurses every day. Nurses can be nominated by anyone, including patients, family members, physicians, supervisors or their peers.

Joe was on hand for Haiden’s award ceremony, and was so pleased he could be a part of her special day.

“I just think the world needs more human beings like her.”

To nominate a nurse at Methodist Hospital or Methodist Women’s Hospital, visit