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Honoree goes extra mile to give compassionate care
Nurse Grace Owojori takes a Chinese farmer under her wing
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EDITOR'S NOTE: Owojori's story is based on a submitted nomination.
Unfortunately, his wife was not able to obtain a visa to come to the U.S. When it became clear that the family would not be able to make the journey here, Owojori took it upon herself to learn from his wife the end-of-life rituals that needed to be observed in accordance with their culture.

She then worked out a plan to arrange for her patient’s cremation and customs. She invested in clothing that would enable her to participate in the proper ceremony, and she tenderly fulfilled the traditions that were so important to the family, and in which they were able to participate through a video link.
Finally, Owojori undertook the task of escorting her patient’s remains all the way to China, where she made possible the reunification of husband and wife in their home village.

Without a second thought, Owojori paid for the flight and incidental costs to build the bridge, which allowed this family to navigate the loss of a husband and father in their own way.
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“If not me, then who?” is Grace Owojori’s philosophy in her care of patients. It is this belief that led her to go above and beyond the call of duty to meet the special needs and requests of a recent patient and his family.
The patient was a Chinese farmer with a terminal diagnosis. With no treatment options available to him in China, he arranged to receive medical care at a Los Angeles County facility. He traveled alone and paid cash for the services. When treatment proved unsuccessful, he made plans to return home to make end-of-life preparations.
The day before he was due to leave, his health deteriorated. He was brought to St. Francis Medical Center’s ED and admitted to the ICU. Owojori was one of his primary caregivers. Soon after he arrived, the patient lost his battle and passed away. While his story is not unique, the role that Owojori played in assisting him and his family to bridge a language gap and distance barrier is extraordinary.
In the patient’s final days, he was desperate to connect with his loved ones back home. Owojori took the lead in finding a creative solution to the family’s communication problems. She used a translation app and We-Chat to facilitate messaging between her patient and his wife, who spoke no English.

Owojori spent work and off hours with her patient, who was intubated. She wanted to fully understand his end-of-life wishes. By doing so, she was able to convey his sentiments to his family.

Owojori also gave of her own time and funds in the effort to bring his loved ones to the U.S. before his death. She effectively became an extension of her patient’s family. She booked and personally attended embassy appointments several times on his wife’s behalf.

Owojori’s supervisor said: “I have been party to many amazing stories and events throughout my nursing career, but this really does restore faith in the selfless mission we have all been called to. Grace never once publicized what she was doing, she never asked for any consideration for the personal time sacrificed, and despite being offered financial assistance by those around her, she was keen to do this on her own and for her patient.”
In recognition of the extraordinary care and respect she extended to this patient and his family, and to every patient in her service, St. Francis Medical Center was proud to present to Owojori with the DAISY Award®.
A surprised Owojori accepted her award to the applause of hospital leaders, staff and her ICU colleagues and, through tears, she humbly stated, “It is a privilege to care for and serve my patients.”
St. Francis Medical Center gives its special thanks to Grace, for so lovingly and compassionately honoring her patients in life and in death.
Grace Owojori, BSN, RN, CCRN ICU St. Francis Medical Center Lynwood, Calif.
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DAISY meaningful recognition guide
DAISY Award says 'thank you'
Thousands of nurses honored, with more to come.
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The award comes with perks for honored nurses.
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DAISY meaningful recognition guide
Honoree goes the extra mile
RN takes patient, a Chinese farmer, under her wing.
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