Inspiring Stories

‘She’s an Angel’: Grieving Mother Commends Methodist Hospital Nurse for Her Care and Support

Published: Aug. 30, 2021

Growing up, Carli Holz, BSN, RN, wanted to be a labor and delivery nurse. But her time as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) on the Methodist Hospital Progressive Care Unit changed all that.

“It changed my perspective to a different side of nursing that I didn’t know I had a passion for,” said Holz, a Nebraska Methodist College graduate. “With the higher acuity – getting to see people’s successes and helping them through their tougher moments – that gave me that gratification and fulfillment that I didn’t know that I was looking for. Being able to help people who are really sick to get better or to be that person of support for them is kind of what drove me to where I am now.”

Now a nurse on the Methodist Hospital Critical Care Unit, Holz often finds herself at the side of patients and families during the hardest moments of their lives. Whatever the circumstance, she’s committed to showing them The Meaning of Care. And for that devotion, a grieving mother nominated Holz for The DAISY Award.


A Bittersweet Scene

Holz was surprised earlier this month with The DAISY Award, which honors nurses for their extraordinary skill and compassion. Her nomination letter, read aloud to her and her coworkers, painted a bittersweet scene on the Critical Care Unit a few months earlier:

“Carli was one of the nurses for my son when he was in the ICU. Her compassion and empathy was unforgettable. The littlest of things that meant so much to me, she handled with respect and special care. She went out of her way to ask me personal questions about my son during his passing. She understood my anger and my sadness. She was there to listen to me when no one else was in the room but me and my son. She asked me what he was like, and I shared pictures. It was comforting leaving his room knowing she was the one to take care of him that day. I will never forget her kind heart and the way she made my son so comfortable while he was there. ... She calmed me in my despair, she understood my anger, she gave me the perfect amount of space when I needed it, and she came in to check on him when he needed it. She’s an angel.”

Holz said she immediately remembered the family and situation, but she had no idea of the difference she had made.

“It was hard for everyone involved, and obviously emotions are very high when you’re losing a loved one or a child,” said Holz, who has worked at the hospital for five years and joined the Critical Care Unit in January. “Trying to be as sensitive and compassionate as you can be, sometimes it’s hard to feel like you’re doing a good job. I was very surprised at the impact that I made in that situation.”

Her supervisor wasn’t, though.

“Carli is a special person and nurse,” said Tim Hoarty, BSN, RN, CCRN, service leader for the Critical Care Unit. “She takes the care of patients and family very personally. She puts herself in their shoes as a true patient advocate. She never backs down from a challenge or difficult situation. She’s thriving on our unit, and I really can’t wait to see what she is capable of.”


“A Passion To Care for Others”

Hoarty knows a thing or two about outstanding nursing. Holz’s DAISY Award is one of several that Critical Care Unit staff members have received in the past year. That list includes a DAISY Team Award and DAISY Nurse Leader Award for Hoarty himself.

“I don’t know what it is specifically. I can’t really name it,” Hoarty said. “I just know that we have some of the most top-notch nurses, providers, CNAs, respiratory therapists, caregivers and human beings on this unit as well as in this building. The teamwork is incredible, and I think that fuels us even more, despite the adversity. We see things that break our hearts every day, and we see things that inspire us every night. In the end, the cliché is true: For this group, it really is a passion to care for others.”

Cliché or not, Holz has taken it to heart.

“I’m not just caring for a patient,” she said. “I’m caring for a son, a brother, a loved one. And I think that really makes a difference in the family’s perspective, that I am invested not just in the patient, but the whole being, family included. It’s very special and a privilege to get to be a part of those moments.”

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About the Author

Patrick Smith, a content strategist for Methodist Health System, has over a decade of experience writing and editing for newspapers and other publications. He enjoys meeting new people and telling stories that highlight Methodist's mission to deliver The Meaning of Care.

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