Unmasking Our Healthcare Heroes
Steve Budzina was dying from black lung disease when he requested a promise from his teenage granddaughter, who was caring for him at the time.
“He asked me to become a nurse,” Mary Carolus recalled years later.
Carolus initially balked, but not for long. “He said, ‘I need you too.”"
Now, 14 years after graduating from LPN school at Somerset County Career and Technology Center and 24 years since becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant, Carolus is fulfilling that promise as a nurse on the Special Care Unit at The Patriot.
“It’s so rewarding,” she said. “I’m still carrying out what my grandfather wanted me to do years ago.”
On the SCU, where the majority of residents receive short-term therapy and nursing care before being discharged home, Carolus relishes the chance to ease their fears about nursing homes.
“Everybody wants to see them get better and go home,” said Carolus, who has been employed at The Patriot since 2011. “We have residents who cry when they come through the door because they don’t want to be here. And then they cry again because they don’t want to leave.”
A mother of three, Carolus enjoys spending time with her children and grandchild, camping and riding off-road vehicles.
Thank you Mary, for your compassion and dedication!