Inspirational Employee

Have any of you ever encountered a truly inspirational employee - one who really made you stop and think...(all employees are not bad...stupid...out for themselves...."it's all about me" or whatever we might encounter in the course of a "bad" day).

We recently had an employee who passed away at age 43 from breast cancer. I knew her from a former life where we both worked in the same hospital. After I left, she had developed breast cancer and was terminated by letter after she ran out of FMLA. (She was an 11 year employee of the hospital). Anyway...she came to see me and was desperate for a job...any job...We hired her into a position we had, which was way beneath her previous capabilities, but she was just happy to be working. After about 7 months, she found out that despite her radiation and chemo that her cancer had returned and spread to her brain. She had brain surgery to have the tumor removed and was back at work in 2 weeks! (She begged me to let her return and after her doctor agreed, we let her return). Needless to say, the surgery was only a temporary fix and the cancer continued to grow. This lady would literally drag herself to work and employees would see her holding on to the copy machine to keep her balance. We lierally took her from the office to the hospital on a couple of occasions, once when she suddenly lost her vision. We let her work as much as she could because it seemed to keep her going and give her a reason to live. If drive and determination could have kept this lady alive,she would still be with us today. Unfortunately, she lost her battle the middle of January.

I often think of her when I have a bad day and I don't feel well. I also think of her when other employees whine and complain about their little ailments which pale in significance.


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  • [font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 03-11-03 AT 08:11AM (CST)[/font][p]Sounds like she was a great employee and inspiring person. Thanks for sharing her story which reminds me of the old cliches I repeat when feeling sorry for myself. ."Don't think the world has knocked you harder than it has anyone else" and "There is always someone worse off." Good lesson in counting our blessings.
  • >which reminds me of the old cliches I repeat when
    >feeling sorry for myself. ."Don't think the world has knocked you
    >harder than it has anyone else" and "There is always someone worse
    >off." Good lesson in counting our blessings.

    Sonny, that line reminds me of an story about a man who complained to God about the 'cross he bore', that it was too heavy, too burdonsome...etc. God took the cross from him and led him to a room filled with crosses and told the man to pick another one which would suit him better. Looking around the room, the man saw large crosses everywhere...too heavy for him to bear. Buried in the back he spotted a small cross and said to God, "I want that one". God just smiled and said, "My son, that is the cross you came in with." Goes to show that we may seem to think that our burdens are "too much to bear" for us, but others have much bigger burdens to bear. God doesn't give us more than we can handle, we just think it's more until you put it in perspective.

    Thank-you Rockie for sharing this post! What an inspiration she is to us all. May it be a lesson well learned.

  • You reminded me of an employee that we lost in 2000. He also had cancer, but battled it like a champion. Continued to work to within a month of his death, and must have just drug himself to work on some days. One of our other employees asked him early on in his illness why he didn't just quit and do something he enjoyed for whatever time he had left and his response was: "I'm doing what I like, why should I quit?" He was an inspiration.
  • This thread should be called Inspirational Employee and Inspirational Employer. What a sad but great story. I can relate to this because my father passed away from brain cancer at the age of 54. He went to work at the bank one morning and noticed his shoe was untied. He tried for two hours to tie his shoe and realizing something was wrong went to the doc. Three days latter he was in surgery for brain cancer and three months latter he was dead. His condition did not allow him to continue to work but the bank and all employees were very supportive in his home health care.

    Rockie, it sounds like you work at a very caring and family orientated organization. I think about my father every time an employee approaches me with a health issue. I think about how I would want to be treated and, what's the right thing to do in a given situation. Thanks for the pick-me-up this morning!

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