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New statue at Sisters Hospital dedicated to 'extraordinary' nurse

The honoree, Theresa Pasciak, passed away days before the ceremony.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — As part of National Nurses Week, a statue at Sisters Hospital has been dedicated to one retired nurse who went above and beyond throughout her entire career.

The statue dedication for Theresa Pasciak was held on May 9, which would have been Theresa's 90th birthday.

"I wish you could have met her. You would've loved her. Everyone does. She took great care to make sure everyone always felt included and special," said Caryn Pasciak, Theresa's daughter.

Every quarter, Sisters Hospital recognizes one of their nurses as an outstanding nurse and when they went through the nominations, after hearing from the Pasciak family, they knew they found a great fit — Theresa Pasciak.

"I think any nurses, you hope that someone is going to say the same thing about you. From the time that she had graduated and every role that she had. You know she was in the supervisor position, but still made such a difference at the bedside, helping to teach and instruct new nurses and really show them what it means to provide compassionate care and to look out for their patients," said Jessica Visser, MSN, RN, vice president of patient care services at Sisters Hospital. 

"I think myself and every nurse that we know, we hope that someday somebody will say those things about us too. That we were able to show compassion to those who needed it. That we were able to complete the mission that we have- follow the calling of nursing."

The sculpture is called 'Healer's Touch.' It's a national award through the Daisy Foundation. It resembles the relationship between the patient and the nurse.

Caryn Pasciak says the same compassion Theresa gave to nursing was also the same love given at home even during one of the busiest times of the year.

"Mom would just cook up a storm. She would roast a turkey and a billion side dishes. And then, she would leave to go to work. Who does that? Who prepares an enormous feast for their family but doesn't get to share it with them on that special occasion? You know who does that? Nurses do that," said Caryn Pasciak. "Mom was a nurse through and through. She was just a fabulous person. I wish she could've been here."

Theresa Pasciak passed away before Monday's ceremony. Her family said that she knew about the statue and that she was very touched to learn they did something like that. They say she was a very private person and did not like the spotlight much, but she was looking forward to being with her family to celebrate.