As a registered nurse of more than 25 years, Sandy Puckett knew she wanted to work at Essex Meadows for many years prior to joining the organization in November 2019.
“Once you start working at Essex Meadows, you never leave,” Sandy said, as she reflected on her personal experience. “It’s an honorable company that treats employees fairly. The residents are wonderful and have shown us tremendous support every day, especially throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Sandy, who cared for residents in the COVID unit, displayed a servant heart in tending to every detail and going the extra mile to ensure their comfort. Her colleague, Cathy Bonin, shared every request for a window visit with a family member was met with a helpful response, “What do you need?”
“I believe as a community, we’re a stronger force together. Everyone has their role, but if we work collectively, we can ease the difficulties we face each day,” Sandy said. “I felt it was so important for families to connect, whether by phone, video chat or window visits, to have that much-needed time together.”
Sandy was especially touched by one couples’ strength during this challenging time. She took it upon herself, Cathy shared, to hold the phone to the husband’s ear so his wife could talk with him every night, closing with the Lord’s prayer.
“The couple’s relationship reminded me of my own marriage,” said Sandy, who has been married to her husband, Gary, for 23 years. “Throughout the pandemic, this woman’s dedication to her husband was undeniable. I was so touched by her love for him, so if there was a moment every day that I could ensure they both smiled, who wouldn’t do that for someone?”
Sandy shares this commitment to loved ones was a common theme throughout the pandemic, as many other spouses and children developed similar, daily rituals to get through this difficult year.
“This year has been incredibly challenging for the residents and medical staff,” Sandy said. “Residents were not able to have in-person visitors for months. As a medical team, we did everything in our power to ensure the residents at Essex Meadows felt cared for and comfortable.”
And, Sandy’s colleagues shared that her compassionate care extended to her team, as she brought them dinner to show her gratitude. When asked about the dinner, Sandy humbly acknowledged her contribution.
“I really believe we should show our appreciation for others without recognition,” she said. “In the news we often hear about the good work of doctors and nurses, but as a nurse, I couldn’t do my job without the wonderful support of our CNAs. They worked tirelessly on the frontlines during this pandemic, and in high-risk areas. I just wanted my colleagues to know how special they are to me.”
Thank you, Sandy, for your dedication to Essex Meadows, our community, our residents and our colleagues. We are proud to have you as a member of our outstanding team!