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Rep. Chris Latvala gives nurses prestigious award for providing extraordinary care

Rep. Chris Latvala awards Emily Whalen RN.jpg
Rep. Chris Latvala awards Alex Potter RN.jpg
Posted at 5:38 PM, Jul 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-21 17:42:32-04

LARGO, Fla. — A State Representative honored the nurses who went above and beyond while he was hospitalized with COVID-19.

State Representative Chris Latvala (R - Fla.) spent a total of two weeks at Largo Medical Center last year fighting COVID-19.

“The most pain that I have ever been in my entire life. And there were some dark days and dark moments. I certainly was a fortunate person and certainly lucky,” said Rep. Latvala.

Latvala said healthcare workers helped ease his isolation and pain, especially nurse Emily Whalen.

“I just spent time after my shift getting to know him, sitting down watching TV for a little bit. Just like with anybody, just trying to get to know them and connect with them. Especially during this time, because you can’t have any family or anybody visiting during those times and that’s extremely challenging,” said Whalen.

Alex Potter was another nurse who went out of his way to make Latvalaa feel comfortable.

To show his gratitude for the compassion both nurses provided, Latvala went back to the hospital and presented them with The DAISY Award. It's an internationally recognized award where patients nominate a nurse for going above and beyond their duty.

“I was not expecting it. It was a really big surprise and it was amazing and I’m still, like today, I’m still thinking about it. So it was awesome,” Whalen said.

“They are heroes. They work grueling 12-hour shifts. They do the little things too, to make patients feel better. Like sneaking extra deserts for them or more apple juice like they did for me,” said Rep. Latvala.