Retired nurse volunteers time giving back

Published: May. 21, 2022 at 11:22 AM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - One retired nurse is still working to make a difference after decades of work.

As a retired nurse, Jean Johnson has always been passionate about helping others.

“I think it just becomes a part of you. It takes a special person to want to do what’s required to be a nurse,” Johnson told News4.

She said that throughout her 35-year career, she had had moments that stuck with her.

“He was electrocuted. He went to intensive care, and afterward, he went to our unit and was a patient for a long time, and he was so grateful,” Johnson said when remembering a previous patient. “I remember him saying, you know I woke up one morning, and there were angels of mercy here. So that’s what he called us.”

Johnson spends most of her time at St. Thomas West, visiting patients and offering prayer during their most challenging moments, but there was one moment where she had to put this on pause for her hurdle.

“I said it is as bad as they are saying, and she said yes.”

Like many, Johnson lost many things to the 2021 floods, including most of her nursing memorabilia. However, the one thing that remained untouched by the event was her Daughters of Charity service award, the highest honor for a volunteer.

“There were a couple of other things like a fruit bowl that belonged to my mother was taken from the kitchen and landed in the living room without a scratch,” Johnson said. “Everything was fine. I thought to myself, of course, my mother had passed by then, she just meant for me to have that, and I thought the same for the daughters of charity award.”

She told News4 that the untouched award serves as a reminder of all that she had lost to the floods and values it every day.

“I had a devotional book that I picked up, and it said during the crucible praise God Thank him for the crucible, and now that I look back on it, it is so true because those things build your character and make you appreciative of what you have.”

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