Cathy Purcell is a certified nursing assistant, or CNA, in Shelbyville. She lives in Unionville, just a quick 17-minute drive up the road from the hospital. She lives on the same road as her mother, step-dad, aunt, uncle, and daughter—a place she has called home her entire life. Her family and her passion for helping others have kept her in Unionville, and the Vanderbilt Bedford Hospital is a better place with Cathy nearby. As a CNA, she is responsible for helping patients, getting vital signs, giving baths, feeding them, and other care. She works to make sure the patients feel comfortable; her gentleness is felt in every room she enters. In September of 2021, Cathy will celebrate twenty years as a CNA. After two decades of care, she starts and ends every day with the golden rule.
“I love helping people. That’s my thing,” Cathy said. “I treat others the way I want to be treated.”
Lisa Adams, a registered nurse, noticed Cathy’s care for patients.
“Cathy has always been a kind-hearted, gentle spirit who diligently works with compassion and tireless dedication to her patients,” Lisa said about Cathy.
That rings true at both the hospital and at home. When she leaves work and heads
to her family’s street after a long day of working with COVID patients, she still is thinking of others. She would make sure to change her clothes, wash her hands, and take extra precautions to keep her loved ones safe.
While the pandemic is worrisome, Cathy did her job every day without fear. She wouldn’t let the overwhelming stress get to her. In fact, she worried more about the safety of her family. “I was more worried about taking it home to my family,” she said. “Family means a lot to me.”
It was not so easy for everyone to stay focused, hardworking, and loving during 2020 as the globe fought the pandemic. But Cathy was different. She tried to stay positive and follow her golden rule. When asked what was her motivation to keep going, she listed the two things that are the most important in her life.
“Prayer and Christian music when I go into work and come out of work,” she answered. “I treat everybody the way I wanna be treated. The Lord is very much so my driving factor.”
Cathy believes there has been both good and bad to come from the pandemic. While it kept people apart, we learned more about how to protect ourselves and each other.
“ was the most different, but it was not really the most difficult,” she said. “In some ways, yes. Being isolated from other people made things more difficult.”
Even on difficult days, a little bit of gratitude goes a long way. “Just someone telling me thank you, that makes me appreciate it,” she said. Cathy’s impact at the hospital can expand beyond those walls. She and others in the hospital point out how kind and welcoming Shelbyville is, even during a pandemic. The town, the hospital, and Cathy Purcell spend every day thinking of others first—spreading joy and love through the golden rule.-GN