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May 06, 2011

Augusta, GA  – It’s been nearly 18 years since Suzanne Bedichek’s husband was diagnosed with brain cancer.  That battle had been fought, but it was the next one that she never saw coming.

For nearly 10 years, Bedichek has been working the overnight shift at Doctors Hospital, the past 4 have been spent as a nurse in the emergency room.  It is that same emergency room that she took her 17 year old daughter, Taylor, after discovering a lump on her neck.  Within days, on her first day of school, Taylor was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, and Bedichek was faced with six months of becoming a full-time caregiver, again.  “It was a very low moment in my life,” says Bedicheck.

“Suzanne is a part of our family and we weren’t about to let things get worse for her than they already were,” said Martha Garner, Director of Emergency Services for Doctors Hospital.  When news spread throughout the hospital, staff from all departments started donating their paid time off, making sure she was financially covered for the six months she would need to be gone.  

“I knew these people cared about me but I just had no idea how much, even total strangers were helping me,” said Bedichek, “I don’t know how I could repay them.”  She said many nights were spent calling the ER crying, just needing one of her ‘family members’ to listen.  

“Our nurses aren’t just there to help their patients, but to help each other as well,” said Garner.  “Nurses week is more than a holiday on the calendar, it’s about highlighting what our staff does for others behind closed doors.  This was certainly one of the most memorable moments this hospital has seen,” said Karen Swim, Chief Nursing Officer for Doctors Hospital.    

While Bedichek’s husband is in remission, surviving well past the three month timeline he was given, her daughter is still waiting for the good news.  “We are very hopeful, but I’m so thankful that I work with such a great team and support system,” says Bedicheck.

Bedichek has since returned to her nursing position, but this time she says it’s different.  “My bond with this emergency department has been amplified, and I will forever be grateful for what they have done for me and my family.”

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