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At Madison Hospital, Erika Crutcher comforts patients with her upbeat outlook. Crutcher works as a Food & Nutrition Hospitality Assistant. CONTRIBUTED

Erika Crutcher cheers dispositions at Madison Hospital

MADISON – Erika Crutcher is one of those people who behaves in an optimistic, positive way, despite days with bleak promises.

“Erika Crutcher is one of our Food & Nutrition Hospitality Assistants. She has a heart of pure gold,” Madison Hospital President Mary Lynne Wright said.

“She delivers meal trays to patients, and, now with our no visitor policy due to COVID-19, she is a bright light for our patients,” Wright said. “Erika can be caught singing to patients, with one of her co-workers and many times in the elevator.”

Wright said that Erika’s personality “just makes you smile. She has to be one of the most caring, genuine people I have ever had the honor of working with.”

Erika has worked at Madison Hospital for eight years.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Erika has dealt with the change in her daily routine of “not being able to interact with the patients and their family.”

Like many people, Erika did not expect the magnitude of COVID-19 infections in early stages of the crisis. “At first, I didn’t think it would be like this. I was thinking it would blow over in a few weeks,” she said.

“After we had a patient at our hospital that had the virus, I began to get nervous because I live with my elderly dad and I’m around my grandfather and family. I began to pray not only for my family but the entire world,” Erika said.

“Since the pandemic, I’m very cautious, taking the extra precautions to keep me, my family and everyone else safe — staying six feet apart,” Erika said.

Crutcher has not been required to work extra hours or overtime because of the COVID-19 crisis. “I worked less hours due to the low patient census” that resulted from cancelled or delayed medical procedures at the hospital.

A patient diagnosed with the virus made a lasting impression on Erika. “One of our patients was the sweetest lady that I’ve met in a very long time,” Erika said. “She is a fighter who wasn’t gonna let COVID get the best of her.”

“When I first met her, she would tell me I have a beautiful personality and that I’m way too young to work at the hospital. Every chance I got I would go to her just to check on her. She always greeted me with a beautiful smile and wave,” Erika said.

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