Father’s Day carries extra meaning for Felicia Nelson this year.
Certainly, there’s sadness because her dad, Rickey Dale Burton Sr., passed away two weeks ago. However, Felicia is also filled with gratitude, both for the loving memories of her dad and for experiencing the true meaning of a “work family.”
She serves as team lead for Bon Secours Pediatrics of Mechanicsville. In recent weeks Felicia saw how her manager, Kelly Gill, and fellow team members all went beyond any expectations of care and compassion.
“I also saw the same compassion from the hospice caregivers at Bon Secours Memorial Regional Medical Center where my dad spent his final hours,” she adds.
Felicia’s dad was a diabetic who had his right leg amputated a few years ago. He also had heart disease and a wound on his foot that would never heal. He was a frequent hospital patient who always seemed to leave a positive impact on his caregivers.
Felicia felt like she was on an emotional rollercoaster as she witnessed her dad go through his constant health ordeal, which culminated in being placed in the oncology floor that includes hospice care.
Hospice team members not only made her dad comfortable, but also cared for her large family that surrounded him, including his loving wife, six children with their significant others and several grandchildren.
“They were amazing,” Felicia shares. “They had us tell stories and let them know more about the man my father was. The nurses working that day showed so much compassion, love and support during the hardest times in my family’s life, and it will always be remembered. They are angels and truly committed to their work and calling.”
On June 1, Felicia’s dad passed away, and she felt like her world was torn apart.
“At my lowest moment, my work family pulled together and supported me unconditionally,” she says.
The nurses covered for her without question on the days she had to be out. All the managers, doctors, nursing staff and frontline employees lifted up her spirits the following days with constant messages full of love and support. They showed up for her father’s funeral service, and to top it off, they provided her family with several catered food items and drinks for after the service.
“This meant the world to me,” Felicia says. “If you know me, and they do pretty good, I am the person in my family that takes everything on. They wanted to allow me to breathe a little during this time and not worry about everyone else for a change.”
She continues, “to say my work family is amazing is an understatement. They truly are heaven-sent. I always say I love my job mostly because of the people I work with, but this just solidifies it so others can see how spectacular they are. Words will never be enough to let them know how much it meant to me for them to be there and support me like they did. I want all of Bon Secours to know just how amazing the people I work with are and the beliefs they stand for.”
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