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Home : News : News
NEWS | May 8, 2024

Former BAMC patients share stories during Nurses Week event

By Lori Newman Brooke Army Medical Center Public Affairs

Brooke Army Medical Center kicked off Nurses and Techs Week with an opening ceremony May 6 in the Carolyn D. Putnam Auditorium.

This year, the national theme for Nurses Week is “Empowering Nurses: Strengthening Healthcare Systems,” but BAMC’s local mantra is “The Power of Caring.”

To highlight the “Power of Caring,” several former patients were invited to share their experiences during the ceremony.

One of the most emotional testimonies came from Jennifer Mack-McQuinn whose son, Tyler, was born at just 23 weeks’ gestation and spent 446 days in the hospital at BAMC.

Mack-McQuinn began by reading a letter written from her son’s perspective about how the nurses took care of him when he was at BAMC.

In part, the letter said, “My mom has told me, you guys are family. I know it’s true by the way you take care of me. I notice that you always took care of my mommy too. … You held her hand and hugged her tight when all she could do is cry all day and night. … I’m here today because you believed. Thank you for everything and thank you for loving me.”

Mack-McQuinn praised the nurses for their support throughout her son’s hospital stay, sharing many milestones in her son’s journey.

“The power of caring is not something that nurses have to do; it is something that they just do,” she said. “I’ve seen it. I’ve felt it. I’ve watched it and I’m so honored to have been a part of it.”

“You will always have a special place in my family’s and my son’s heart,” she added.

David Jurski was injured in a house fire in 2022.

“The care that I received at this hospital was just phenomenal,” Jurski said, recounting several instances where staff members went above and beyond to make sure he received the care he needed and how they reassured his family that he would be okay.

Jurski was in a coma for several weeks, after suffering bilateral burns on his lower extremities resulting in the partial amputation of his left foot.

“I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the care that I received in this hospital,” he said. “From the moment I was wheeled in, to the day I finally walked out, it was top-notch from everybody I encountered in this building.”

Sergio Avila was a COVID-19 patient who was near death when he was transferred to BAMC for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. ECMO is a type of artificial life support that helps patients whose lungs and heart aren’t functioning correctly.

“I think about you all every day,” Avila said. “To me you all are my angels and always will be.”

BAMC volunteer, retired Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Jerry Jarvis spoke about how the staff supported severely injured service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Things were really tough,” Jarvis said with tears in his eyes. “Thank God for this hospital. There are men and women who lived through that ordeal, and they are alive and making the most of what they have. Thank God for the medical staff … you cared then, and you care now.”

Retired Air Force Capt. David Bonney and retired Navy Chief Petty Officer Manny Mendoza also spoke about their experiences at BAMC.

BAMC Commander Army Col. Mark Stackle thanked the former patients for sharing their experiences. He also said Nurses Week holds a “special place in his heart” because his mother was a nurse.

Stackle asked all the nurses, medics, and techs in the audience to stand to be recognized. “This week is about you,” he told them. “This week is recognizing what each of you do in your role on the nursing team.”

“To our nurses and techs – thank you to each and every one of you for the dedication, compassion, and expertise you bring to Team BAMC every day,” the commander said. “Here’s to celebrating the power of caring, the power of our people, and the extraordinary power of our nursing team.”