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Kansas City-area nurse receives 'Hero Award' for her dedication to 7-year-old with Dysphagia

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Posted at 5:43 PM, May 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-07 19:52:17-04

BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. — In honor of National Nurses Week, BAYADA Home Health Care recognized one of its exceptional nurses on Friday.

“Donna exemplifies the BAYADA way, which is compassion, excellence and reliability. She’s selfless, she’s thoughtful, she’s an advocate for Marcus and she’s just amazing," Kelci Stafford, director of BAYADA, said.

Donna McCoy has been working with 7-year-old, Marcus Rye, for two years. Marcus lives with a rare chromosomal abnormality called Dysphagia. It is a developmental disorder that affects his maturity level.

“If I can make them smile or get them through the day, give them one more day or one more week with their parents, I’ve done my job," McCoy said. "Some days it’s frustrating and other days it’s like the best day in the world."

McCoy described the emotions that come with working as a nurse.

“It’s like every feeling. You’re happy, you’re sad, you wanna cry. You cry because you’re happy, you cry because you don’t know, it’s wonderful," she said.

McCoy has been in nursing since she graduated high school. She returned to pediatrics after taking a gap for ten years.

Marcus’ father, Shaun Rye, said the family could not have hand picked anyone better for Marcus than Donna.

“First off, I’m really paranoid about who’s around my kids. It’s hard for me to trust people,” Shaun Rye said. “But Donna, you can just sense it, the love she has for my son. So that takes away all that stress I have, you know?”

Shaun says his son is a survivor. He has undergone multiple open heart surgeries to rebuild his heart.

He was born at six months old with chromosome 13 duplication and deletion, which has brought a multitude of health complications over the years.

“He’s pretty much writing the book on what’s going to happen. He’s the commander of his own destiny you know? He’s about to start walking, he’s about to crawl, soon he’ll be talking and eating on his own. It’s because of people like Donna that makes a really big difference," Shaun Rye said.

It is that level of comfort she has brought to this family that earned her the Divisional Office Hero Award.

“For me and Marcus, we’re gonna be walking by the end of the year. That’s my goal for him,” McCoy said.

BAYADA Home Health Care is also kicking off its Nurses Week by hosting a giveaway called “What’s Your Wish.”

50 nurses will be randomly selected to win a prize kit. Nurses can visit and enter to win one of five nurse-curated themed kits.