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When care extends to four-legged family members

A medical emergency forced a patient to leave his puppy home alone in sweltering heat. Summer Armstrong came to the rescue.

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Health care people are all about saving lives. And there is one puppy who knows it personally.

Summer Armstrong, a nurse practitioner and hospitalist at Asante Three Rivers Medical Center, learned that a patient brought in by ambulance had to leave his puppy unattended at home in his trailer. As temperatures soared to 100 degrees, ATRMC employees spent two days calling neighbors, family, police and animal control. No one was available to check on the puppy, who had been without food and water for at least three days. That’s when Armstrong jumped in to help.

Although the dog’s owner was not her patient, Armstrong immediately left work, drove to the trailer and rescued the puppy. She took him home with her until the patient was discharged.

“The dog was so happy to see her!” said Lauren Grigsby, a certified nurse assistant at the hospital. “She went so above and beyond and deserves recognition.”

That is why Grigsby nominated Armstrong for a DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses, a way to recognize nurses who go above and beyond to take care of all patients.

Patients and others may nominate nurses for a DAISY Asante Ashland, Asante Rogue Regional or Asante Three Rivers, based on factors including care of and compassion for patients and their loved ones.

The DAISY Foundation was established in 1999 in honor of Patrick Barnes, who died in Seattle of idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura. His parents created the DAISY Foundation (DAISY is an acronym for diseases attacking the immune system) to recognize nurses for the exceptional care they provided their son during his illness. Hospitals around the world have since adopted the program.

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