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Housekeeper makes 'exceptional difference' in patient's care
For eight days, Kalina Garfolo was at Ascension Via Christi St. Francis undergoing tests to determine what was causing her to be unable to swallow food or walk because of numbness in her lower extremities.
Kalina's boyfriend and mother both work during the day, leaving little time for them to visit her at the hospital.
The boredom and frustration, says the 24-year-old Wichitan former catering manager, was becoming overwhelming. Then she met a care team member who she says "truly made an exceptional difference": Housekeeper Pasha Howard, who was hired through a temporary staffing agency and had only been on the job about a month.
Seeing the young woman's loneliness when she came to clean her room, Howard asked and received permission from her supervisor to sit with Kalina and give her comfort.
"She took that time out of her day to speak with me, encourage me, and pray over me," says Kalina, adding that her own faith had been "non-existent" for a long time.
Howard continued to offer Kalina support on the days that she was working and to check in on her on the days that she wasn't.
"I was moved to tears by how much she cares," wrote Kalina, leading her to post a glowing online review to let Howard, her supervisors and everyone on social media know just what a blessing Howard and the support she offered had been.
"She says constantly, 'I’m just a housekeeper,' but this housekeeper has gone above and beyond," wrote Kalina in a recent online review. "Her strength and love show in all that she does."
Howard says that she took the job praying that the temp-to-perm position would be a kick-starter to a nursing career at Ascension Via Christi.
"When I saw the review, I cried," says the petite mother of six. "She's done more for me than I did for her."
Kalina has since been discharged home from the hospital, but is hoping that Howard will be staying on.
"Oh, she's a keeper," says Jonathon Beisler, who directs Environmental Services at Ascension Via Christi. He says he has already begun the process of extending Howard an offer of regular employment once her contract with the temporary agency has been fulfilled.