The COVID-19 pandemic has altered the way we live right now. Large gatherings are canceled, children are being homeschooled and we are coming up with creative ways to celebrate special occasions, like birthdays.

HCA Houston Healthcare colleagues are known for going above and beyond to deliver the care and support their patients deserve and expect. Meet two of our exceptional nurses who went above and beyond the call of duty to care like family for their patients celebrating birthdays.

Tiffany Harwell, Nurse Technician

TiffanyWhen Tiffany Harwell, nurse technician in the medical surgical unit, learned that one of her patients, Mrs. Mildred Meadows, would be celebrating her 99th birthday while at HCA Houston Healthcare Conroe, she alerted her leadership team and jumped into action to plan a party Mrs. Meadows would not forget.

“This display of care and compassion supports all that we are at HCA—Above all else, we are committed to the care and improvement of human life,” said Christy Anderson, Director of Clinical Operations and Magnet program at HCA Houston Healthcare Conroe.

Tiffany and her colleagues bought balloons, a plant and arranged for a social distancing approved party. Her family came to her hospital window and called to wish her a happy birthday.

“Celebrating Mrs. Meadows truly shows how the 1 South staff raised the bar, cared like family, and unlocked possibilities,” said Anderson. “It’s not just about healing them physically, it’s also mind, body and soul and providing holistic care all the way around. Tiffany and her colleagues were happy to have made a difference and continue to find opportunities to raise the bar for patients and the families they serve.”

Sherri Cooke, Cardiovascular Intermediate Unit Registered Nurse

Sherri Cooke and Ernest Taylor celebrating his birthdayWhen Ernest Taylor, 66, came to HCA Houston Healthcare Clear Lake for a scheduled heart surgery, he knew that he would celebrate his birthday without family by his side. Due to the spread of COVID-19, visitors are restricted from coming to the hospital. But he did not know that his care team would still find a way to help him celebrate.

Sherri Cooke met Mr. Taylor during his hospital stay and learned that his birthday was that week.

“I could not go home that day knowing what I knew without making his day a little special,” said Sherri. “Part of HCA’s mission statement is to ‘care like family’ and I think it’s important we exemplify that as much as we can during these challenging times.”

She ordered desserts and balloons, and staff sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to help Mr. Taylor celebrate his birthday. He underwent surgery the next day and is now on the road to recovery.