Davis Culhane has a hard time speaking, but he always lights up when he sees his nurse, Dea Kuiper. In this edition of Healthy Living, YNN's Katie Gibas introduces us to one of the nominees for Nurse of the Year.
"It just always warms my heart and I know he thinks the world of Dea. He hears her voice and immediately reacts and has gotten to be very, very close because he knows she cares about it. He's not just another patient. They have a special relationship," said Anne Culhane, Davis' Mother.
Dea Kuiper is a registered nurse and is a VNA Homecare Nurse. She has also been nominated as Nurse of the Year.
She said, "I follow the family through the changes in his life as well, from young boy to now a late teenager, and help the family move through the transitions with this wonderful Davis boy."
Kuiper is a pediatric home care nurse and serves children with a variety of medical conditions.
"People might automatically think of home care as for the elderly. However, pediatrics is very important. More and more children get discharged from the hospital earlier, and just the belief of the special needs kids and to raise them in the home environment. But that requires a team to accomplish that," said Kuiper.
Now, Kuiper is getting state and national recognition for her service. In June, the National Association for Home Care and Hospice named her as New York State's Nurse of the Year. Kuiper is also one of ten finalists for the National Nurse of the year.
"I was totally overwhelmed. It was humbling to know that there are so many fantastic nurses in the state of New York and to be able to represent them all is quite the honor," said Kuiper.
Kuiper will find out the outcome during a conference in Washington, D.C. at the end of October.