Richmond nurse goes above & beyond to keep spirits up for resident at nursing home

Updated: Nov. 17, 2020 at 4:00 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Most nursing homes aren’t allowing visitors right now and it’s all in the name of safety, but it doesn’t make it any easier for families. But nurses are stepping up and filling new roles to keep families as connected as possible.

Judy Ford visits her sister, Brenda, at the Westport Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Richmond, along with a close family friend, Allen Lindsey, there by her side.

The two often walk to the back of the building and wait for their favorite nurse, Hanna Sergeant, to bring Brenda to the window. Brenda is bedridden and the family says she is having a hard time dealing with the pandemic. Visitors aren’t allowed inside and she’s feeling isolated, not being able to share a hug or breathe the same air with the people she loves.

“It’s been hard, it’s been hard, sometimes she feels like she’s just been abandoned. Sometimes she says ‘I feel like I’m being warehoused,’ or ‘I feel like a prisoner,’ and Hanna has made that a whole lot easier,” says Allen Lindsey.

Hanna is the nurse on the other side of the window trying her best to keep Brenda’s spirits up. Brenda’s sister Judy says if it wasn’t for Hanna, this little bit of joy wouldn’t be possible.

“Hanna has been with Brenda since day one. Brenda had a birthday in June and we weren’t able to celebrate, so Hanna was able to coordinate with me and we were able to get Brenda to get to the window and her whole family was able to celebrate with her, it was awesome, she just goes beyond the call of duty.”

Once Hanna walked out of the nursing home, Judy was there to surprise her with $300 and a $50 gift card to Mexico Restaurant.

Hanna was overcome with gratitude and joy, as Allen and the director of the facility watched.

“Brenda is family, everybody in her is family. We treat everybody here with respect, love, and kindness, and for them to recognize that I’m glad. I love what I’m doing which is not a job, thank you, thank you, guys,” Hanna said.

Hanna says her grandmother, mother, aunt and husband are all nurses, and to do this job was a calling.

She was also named nurse of the year Westport Rehab and Nursing, which wasn’t a surprise to this family.

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