Methodist Nurse and Patient Make Powerful Connection Through Prayer
Published: Sept. 4, 2020
She was born with a servant heart. And she’s a self-proclaimed “mother hen.”
“I used to hook the vacuum cleaner up to my baby doll, pretending it was an IV,” said Kelsey Jourdan, RN, a medical surgical nurse at Methodist Hospital. “Becoming a nurse just seemed like a natural fit.”
And for the past two years, it has been. But it wasn’t until recently that Jourdan was publicly recognized for what her family calls a “natural gift of being a friend to those who need one.”
An instant connection
In early March, LaQuita Staton, 32, was admitted to the Cardiac Unit at Methodist Hospital in excruciating pain. Jourdan just happened to be assigned to that floor that day and met LaQuita at her worst.
“I’ve never been sick enough to be hospitalized,” LaQuita said, “So, yeah, I was scared.”
“And I could see that,” Jourdan said. “So I sat there and talked with her about life in general, trying to get her mind off of everything. I said, ‘Hey, can I just call you Q?’ And I don’t know. We just kind of hit it off.”
Before long, Jourdan began noticing swelling in LaQuita’s leg. It was right about the time LaQuita began complaining of some pain and tingling. Jourdan called for a rapid response team and the doctors who were available at the time.
“I knew something wasn’t right,” she said.
LaQuita was suffering from several critical blood clots. She praises the quick actions of her entire care team, including vascular surgeon Scott Wattenhofer, MD.
“He came in with a marker and showed me on the whiteboard what he saw and said, ‘We need to get you in surgery now. Had you not have come in when you did, you could have lost your leg or your life.’ I immediately started crying.”
The healing power of prayer
After a successful surgery, LaQuita was eventually transferred to Methodist Hospital’s Medical Surgical Unit, where she and Jourdan were reunited.
“I’ve always believed that everything happens for a reason,” Jourdan said. “But seeing her again – I was like, ‘Man, this is absolutely meant to be.’”
LaQuita, still scared, was now struggling mentally and emotionally.
“I was still in so much pain, and I couldn’t even get up to go to the bathroom myself,” she said. “I couldn’t do anything. It was humiliating.”
“So I held her – this was before COVID, by the way – and I asked if I could pray with her,” Jourdan said. “I never want to push my faith onto anyone, but I could see she needed encouragement. And I wanted to lift her up.”
The two went on to talk about church and the meaning it’s had on both of their lives.
“She consoled me when I was crying. But she also made me laugh. She was serene and soothing,” LaQuita said. “I really felt like she was heaven-sent. The biggest thing we connected over was prayer.”
Honored for compassionate care
During a surprise celebration last month, Jourdan learned that she was receiving The DAISY Award – a national honor that recognizes the extraordinary care of nurses. And when she realized “Q” had nominated her, her eyes seemed to flash a big smile before quickly filling with tears.
“This means a lot,” she said. “I pride myself on my heart and compassion. And to be recognized for being myself is pretty amazing.”
Credited for playing a large part in saving LaQuita’s life, Jourdan said the takeaway is this: “If you think something is wrong, trust your instincts.”
But knowing that compassion can prove more powerful than skill, she said there’s another one: “Don’t be afraid to be yourself and wear your heart on your sleeve. It may be the thing that someone needs.”