Like any good nurse, Beaufort Memorial Hospital’s Alyssa Blevins has always done her best to console the families of ill patients.
But when a Lady’s Island teen suffering unexplainable seizures needed to be airlifted from BMH to the Medical University of South Carolina, the 32-year-old nurse offered the family more than just comfort — she offered them a ride.
The teen’s father and brother didn’t have a car to get to Charleston, so Blevins volunteered to drive them more than an hour up the road to the tertiary hospital. No matter that she had just completed 14 hours on the job.
“I’ve never heard of any nurse doing that,” said her supervisor Lauren Norris. “It went above and beyond the call of duty.”
The compassionate gesture earned Blevins the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses, a national tribute reserved for RNs who go the extra mile to care for patients and their families.
Beaufort Memorial Hospital administrators and staff recently surprised Blevins with the trophy — a hand-carved sculpture titled “A Healer’s Touch” — along with an engraved vase full of daisies.
“It caught me totally off guard,” said Blevins, who began working at BMH just five months ago. “My supervisor asked to meet with me and when I walked in the room, all these cameras started flashing. I had no clue what was going on.”
Norris nominated Blevins for the prestigious award last month in recognition of what she had done for the patient’s family. The 16-year-old had been admitted to BMH for testing after passing out while playing basketball.
“All the tests came back completely normal,” said Blevins, who works the night shift on the
hospital’s third floor. “He was feeling fine, so we planned to discharge him in the morning.”
But at 3 a.m. the patient took a turn for the worse. Arrangements were made to transport him to MUSC for more advanced care.
“His dad started to cry,” Blevins recounted. “I felt compelled to help.”
The patient’s older brother told Blevins they didn’t have a car, but would try to get a ride to Charleston to be with the teen. The nurse gave him her phone number and offered to drive them if they couldn’t find transportation.
“I had just gotten home from work when he called,” Blevins said. “I told him I was on my way.”
Kerri Rassa, the day-shift nurse who had taken care of the patient, accompanied Blevins on the trek.
“We take so many things for granted,” Blevins said. “I can get in my car and drive anywhere I want. They didn’t have that option. I can’t imagine not being able to get to the hospital to be with my kid.”
The DAISY Award was created in 1999 by a Seattle couple as a way to honor the nurses who took care of their son before he died. It has since been adopted by healthcare facilities all over the world. Anyone can nominate a BMH nurse for the prestigious award. Applications are available at the hospital.
“One of the reasons I got into nursing was to help people,” said Blevins, who served as an EMT for nine years before becoming a nurse in 2012. “It’s just my nature.”