NPMC Staff Encourages Co-Worker During Cancer Treatment

Longtime Employee Wrapped in Love at NPMC

When Jean Foxworth, registered nurse for Med Surg at National Park Medical Center, was diagnosed with breast cancer in March, she knew the road to recovery would be hard. But with a lot of love from her co-workers, she’s been surrounded by encouragement through her treatment.

“I was first diagnosed with breast cancer, but later, it was discovered that it had metastasized,” Foxworth said. “So it became a new diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer which changed my treatment to 16 doses of chemotherapy. I just recently started my second round of chemo.”

Foxworth has been with NPMC for more than 45 years, having started in housekeeping in 1971 and becoming a registered nurse in 1973, she said. Over the years, she has gained many friends at NPMC.

Since starting treatment, Foxworth has not been working, and her department has missed her according to Unit Secretary Kathy Rowland. For that reason, Rowland worked quietly on a project to encourage Foxworth during this time.

In early July, Rowland and the Med Surg staff presented Foxworth with a specially made prayer quilt filled with words of love, verses and prayers for their special co-worker.

“I kept a box of quilt blocks and asked anybody that I crossed paths with at the hospital if they would sign one for Ms. Jean,” Rowland said. “It was amazing the response that I got. There are 120 blocks in the quilt. Some have two people’s messages on them.”

Rowland said every department is represented on the quilt.

“Everyone from the kitchen staff to nurses, all the way up to Mr. Jerry Mabry (President, RCCH AR Market) wrote a message for Jean on a block,” she said. “Everyone loves her, and that’s what I wanted to show her with this quilt. That we’re all fighting with her. I wanted her to feel wrapped in love and prayers while going through treatment.”

And Foxworth said she was overwhelmed by the gesture.

“I told them when I was diagnosed that none of them were allowed to cry, but here they made me cry when they gave me the quilt,” she said. “I’m still overjoyed. When I go to chemo, I always take something to wrap myself up in and my pillow. The next time I went for treatment, everyone commented on how beautiful it is.”

The final block on the quilt carries the most meaning, Rowland added.

“The very last block on the quilt says ‘I’ve got this.’ – God,” she said. “That is so important to all of us. Yes, we’re hurting because our friend is not at work with us, but ultimately, we have all put this in His hands. We are putting our faith and trust in Him that he is going to take care of our friend. He’s got this.”

PHOTO – From left to right: Tina Aiken, RN CM; Amanda Lawrence, RN; Jan Everight, RN CM; Kathy Rowland, Med Surg unit secretary; Jean Foxworth, RN; Beka Bair, RN; Starr Wright, LPN; and Angie Golden, RN.

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