Who: Chelsea Eshleman, a nurse at WellSpan Surgery & Rehabilitation Hospital, and her team of co-workers in inpatient rehabilitation, therapy, and case management.
What: Chelsea is having surgery for a brain tumor this month. This follows two surgeries she had as a child, when she was diagnosed with a tumor at the age of 8. At that time, she received so much compassionate care from her nurses that she wanted to pay back and offer that care to others, eventually pursuing a career as a nurse herself.
She did not know that, down the road, she would be on the receiving end of that type of compassion once again.
A few months ago, Chelsea started having issues numbness and tingling in her arm and face. She saw her doctor and learned her brain tumor had returned, and she had her third brain surgery in June.
Her WellSpan Surgery & Rehabilitation Hospital work family – about 50 folks in all – wore pink on her surgery day and showered her with goodies in a “Sunshine Box,” filled with cheerful items including socks, lotions, books, treats, and other items. They took photos of their “pink out” and shared it with Chelsea, so she could see the support she had.
A few weeks ago, Chelsea’s symptoms came back, leading to another surgery that is scheduled this month – her fourth – which will take place five days before her 32nd birthday.
Her work family will wear pink again to show their support.
“Pink is her favorite color,” says Casey Tyransky, nurse manager. “We just thought, ‘Let’s do something that Chelsea likes!’”
Words to live by: “They’ve been so supportive, it’s crazy,” Chelsea says. “They really are my second family.
“I have been overwhelmed. Always thinking of other people, that is one of the qualities that makes a great nurse and that shows in the care we give to our patients every day. The people I work with are so thoughtful. The simplest acts of kindness can go the furthest.”
“She is just a wonderful person,” Casey says. “There is not one person here who doesn’t like Chelsea. She is sweet and has a heart of gold, and she is an excellent nurse. We are kind of a small place, and we lean on each other for support. We all have love and concern for Chelsea. She is one of our own.”
Her friend and nurse colleague Autumn Balek says, “Chelsea is such a beautiful person, inside and out. She has the most caring soul and always sees the good in people. She shows compassion in her work and her personal relationships. Chelsea is the friend everyone wishes they had and the nurse you want to take care of your loved ones. Her strength, resilience and determination are like no other."