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Sherry Deyo-Pugh, RN Goes The Extra Mile

Emergency Department Nurse Keeps Patients' Needs On Top of Her Priority List

“It’s what anyone would have done,” said Sherry Deyo-Pugh, RN of the University of Vermont Health Network – Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital Emergency Department.   After working a full shift in the ED, she volunteered to drive the elderly wife of a patient to the University of Vermont Medical Center where he would receive life-saving heart surgery. 

“They drove themselves to the ED. They had no family close by.  The patient was taken to our cardiac catheterization lab where the physicians discovered his heart was too diseased – he needed surgery.  They put a balloon pump in and we began to make arrangements for the transfer,” Sherry explained.  “I was explaining things to his wife and was even on the phone to their children.”

When it became apparent that there would be no room in the ambulance for the woman, the ED team discussed options.  “Her husband was really sick. She was without family here.”

Sherry had to help. As an RN for 18 years and a certified wild life rehabilitator, it’s what she does.  She spends her days caring for ailing and injured critters and her evenings providing exceptional care for her patients.

While she volunteered to go with her patient’s spouse, Sherry is quick to point out that her trip was truly a team effort.  A quick run to the ATM by colleague Frank Baehre provided the necessary funding for ferry tickets and a meal.  Without delay, Sherry and her travel partner were on their way. They met the ambulance crew in the Medical Center and the entire team stayed while the patient was admitted and prepped for surgery. Colleagues across the lake made the patient’s family and support team as comfortable as possible, offering the staff breakroom as a gathering place.  Once the patient was where he needed to be and his wife safe by his side, the CVPH crew headed home.

“She came back one day to thank us and gave me a gift certificate.  The patient is doing great but it was a very traumatic thing.  I would have done it for anyone,”  she said.