Inspiring Stories

Methodist Nurse 'Saw Fear in Their Eyes,' Brought Tears to Their Eyes With Her Care

Published: Dec. 16, 2019

Hosting Thanksgiving is never a small feat. But for Kristine Scahill, doing the honors for her family of seven this year was beyond an achievement.

Kristine underwent a craniotomy – a major operation to remove a brain tumor – at Methodist Hospital in September. Prior to the surgery, she suffered from memory loss and had difficulty speaking at length. Today she’s cancer-free, and she’s back to doing the things she loves, such as cooking and shopping. While her recovery has been tremendous, it was her pre-operative experience that blew her family away.

From fear to faith

Just prior to Kristine’s procedure, her family was introduced to a most comforting presence. It was that of Methodist pre-operative nurse Dana Griffin, BSN, RN, DNP.

“She was just warm and friendly at a time when we needed it most,” said Quinn Scahill, Kristine’s son.

As Quinn and his family thought of all the things that could go wrong during the surgery, Griffin helped them focus on how strong and brave Kristine was.

“I saw fear in their eyes,” she said. “I saw their worry. They knew this could end with maybe not a good outcome, and they were unsure of the unknown on the other side.”

Quinn was brought to tears when he witnessed Griffin embrace his mother and assure her that she would be OK. She reminded Kristine over and over again of all the love and support she had with her.

“I never saw a nurse hug and comfort my mother like Dana did,” Quinn said.

As Kristine’s family walked back to the surgery waiting lounge, they discussed how good and hopeful Griffin made them feel about the impending surgery. Their fear was turned into faith.

A heartfelt nomination

Moved by Griffin’s compassion, Quinn, on behalf of himself and his family, nominated her for The DAISY Award. He noted that her efforts went above and beyond what was ever expected.

“I never want anyone to leave here feeling that they weren’t No. 1 in the room for us,” Griffin said. “That’s my job – to provide the best possible care with all my heart.”

And just as Griffin brought tears to their eyes on the day of Kristine’s surgery, the Scahill family returned the favor through Quinn’s heartfelt nomination letter. It read in part: “She provided much-needed warmth and positivity on a day that we were all extremely frightened and apprehensive. Her empathy was apparent, and it was complemented by her professionalism. I am sure this is not the only time she has had this effect on a family in pre-op. Her sincere effort to comfort us made a world of difference.”

“I don’t even know where to begin,” Griffin said as she wiped her eyes. “I’m speechless.”

And even though she may never see the Scahills again, Griffin wants them all to know: “I’ve always had you in my prayers. I think of you always. And if there’s anything I can do for you in the future, I’d be there for you again. Definitely.”

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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.

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