2003 CHEROKEE INSPIRED COMFORT AWARD
Angela Bytheway, RN
Nurse Care Coordinator Angela Bytheway helps families embrace childrens disabilities.
Angela Bytheway, RN, knows love can transcend a childs disability. As a nurse care coordinator at the Shriners Hospital for Children in Salt Lake City, Angela helps families access vital services in their communities. She also invests hours and tears to help families learn to cherish their disabled children, as she did for one family whose newborn had severe disabilities. Angela embraced the parents who had difficulty accepting this disability. With care and support, she helped the mother exchange disappointment for hope. The parents now are fervent advocates for their child, eager to work closely with their healthcare partners.
Angela Bytheway's nomination was submitted by Brenda Luther, director, Care Coordination Services, Shriners Hospital for Children, Salt Lake City, Utah:
Angela Bytheway works with children with disabilities and their families as a care coordinator. Daily she interacts with families to provide them not only excellent nursing skills as they come and go from the hospital for their surgeries and therapies but she also is like our own public health nurse.
Angela is a great mother and grandmother and shares those successful skills with the mothers and fathers she works with, supporting their efforts to parent their children at every developmental stage to independence and autonomy. Angela also understands the love and grief that comes with parenting a special needs child. Angela's talent has allowed her to be there for many families that have come through our doors.
Angela knows the services available for families in most every county in the seven western states we cover. She works every year to make contact and foster relationships with the state services so she can make quality referrals for her patients. The public health and special needs nurses know Angela and give her patients the extra attention they may need to receive valuable care in their community.
She has made a unique and powerful difference for many families. One family, in particular, was from Arizona. The mother and father had moved to the US from a foreign country. They delivered a child with a serious physical disability requiring immediate care/surgeries and specialists. This family brought their child home with no family or support in their area. Angela met this mother and formed a relationship that provided her insight into her child's future and emotional support for the experience they as a family were going through. This family was able to see that their child would indeed live and succeed despite this disability. Angela validated for this family that their job as parents is huge yet doable and is indeed sad but also filled with a unique and special love.
I wish you could see this family now; you would give Angela every award in the book!! Angela has received the greatest reward from her families; as they succeed, she beams. When they fall, she hurts. Nursing is about the joy and pain our patients experience and about helping families endure through these experiences. Angela does that every day.
Odd this is called the Comfort Award, as Angela is a natural comforter. When families have comfort they can power through the adversity in front of them.