March 21, 2014

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Meet a Member!

The saying “A smile takes but a moment, but the memory of it lasts forever” is a perfect way to describe one of our pediatric clients in Mesquite, Texas.

Meet Brisa Martinez, a 6-year-old girl who loves music, movies, bubbles and balloons. Brisa has dystonia, a lack of muscle tone, which causes neuromuscular spasms and seizures.

Although Brisa is unable to speak, she often expresses herself through her eyes and amazing smile, which lights up the room everywhere she goes.

It was that very smile that captured the heart of a stranger who would eventually play a role in Brisa’s life.

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Brisa with her sister; her nurse, Paula; and her mom, Angelica.

Back in 2008, Brisa was a patient at a local children’s hospital. Her roommate happened to be the son of Paula Etchieson, an Epic nurse.

Paula immediately fell in love with Brisa’s smile, and little did she know that she would see it again very soon.

In early 2009, Paula was assigned to provide in-home skilled nursing care for a new family. When she arrived at the home, guess who she saw? Brisa!

“I was stunned almost to tears,” said Paula. “The family welcomed me with open arms.”

For Paula, going to work every morning feels like going to her second home.

“Looking at this beautiful child, it’s easy to see why I love working with this family,” said Paula. “They inspire me every day.”

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Brisa and her family with members of the Epic Mesquite team.

Brisa’s mom, Angelica Martinez, also thinks of Paula and the other Epic nurses as members of her family.

“The nurses really love and care about my baby,” said Angelica. “I’m very happy that my daughter has good nurses that genuinely care.”

And it’s not just the nurses who have fallen in love with Brisa. The entire Mesquite office continues to be inspired by the little girl with the memorable smile.

“Brisa is one of my heroes,” said Jason Gregory, executive director. “She is a princess, she is a fighter, and we could all stand to learn from her example of how to live life.”

We are honored to provide private duty nursing care for Brisa, and we hope that her joyful spirit has brightened your day as much as it has ours!

Thanks to the Martinez family for sharing their story!