Patient Calls Two CVPH Nurses His Guardian Angels

Care Inspired Donation to Foundation of CVPH

A former patient at The University of Vermont Health Network-Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital (CVPH) was so touched by the care he received from two nurses that he donated to The Foundation of CVPH in their honor.

 “I can say they were like two guardian angels, as far as I’m concerned,” Rodney Nephew said, reflecting on the care that Mallory Mattison, MSN, RN and Kristy Gough, RN provided him during his two month stay on R6. “They’re very, very personable people. They know their jobs and they take what they do very seriously.”

When Rodney arrived at CVPH, he had already spent three months at The University of Vermont Medical Center (UVMMC) in Burlington, receiving treatment for a clot in his brain resulting from a bad fall, as well as chronically low blood pressure that caused him to pass out on occasion. While the transfer meant he was closer to his family in the North Country, the time spent in the hospital began to weigh heavily on him.

“I was getting depressed, to be honest with you. I was heading to a dark place. I really was,” Rodney admitted.

He said it was Kristy and Mallory who helped turn things around for him, not just with the clinical care they provided, but their kindness and compassion as well.

“They both lifted my spirits. Always checking on me. Ready to help me as soon as I pressed the button, if I needed to use the restroom or whatever I needed,” Rodney offered.

It didn’t take long for Rodney and Kristy to realize they had a connection: her father.

“I used to work with her father, and we’re good friends. So she’d come in every night and tell me a different story about her dad and made me laugh. And we had a good time. Mallory was the same way, always talking to me and keeping my spirits up,” he continued.

That kind of compassion and care comes as no surprise to R6 Nurse Manager Eric Gadway, BSN, RN. “Mallory and Kristy are both exemplary nurses who began their careers on this floor 14 years ago. Both work hard and always put their patients’ needs first. I am proud to be able to say that I work with both of them,” Gadway added.

Rodney was so grateful for the care he received from the two nurses that he decided to make a donation to The Foundation through its Honor a Caregiver program, which allows patients to pay tribute to any hospital team member who offers meaningful comfort and care throughout their experience. The Foundation presented Mallory and Kristy each with a certificate and a pin during surprise ceremonies with their colleagues in recognition of Rodney’s gift and the excellent care the veteran nurses provided him.

Rodney continued to receive treatment and physical therapy at his home in Champlain weeks after being discharged. He said he was happy to be in familiar surroundings again, and he’ll always remain grateful for the difference Kristy and Mallory made in his life.

“You should clone those two, because I’ll tell you, they’re excellent at their job, and I just can’t ask for any better.”