Nurses Maureen Wilson and Elizabeth (Liz) Rogers of the Lake City Florida VA Medical Center exemplify compassionate VA nurses who demonstrate true heart.

Xena has a new home.

The two stayed bedside of a critically ill Veteran and comforted him. They listened to his stories and his last words, which expressed his love and concern for his new puppy.

When the Veteran passed, they lovingly packaged his belongings. Discovering his cell phone, they saw that the Veteran’s mother had left numerous messages, trying to reach out to her son. They called her and provided sympathy and support for her loss.

On the phone, the nurses asked about the puppy and discovered their son’s pride and joy had been at home, alone during the Veteran’s 24-hour hospitalization. While the mother traveled to the hospital, Wilson and Rogers, deeply concerned for the animal’s welfare, sprung to action.

Found Xena, his Husky puppy

Through investigative work, the two located the Veteran’s landlord and successfully recovered Xena, an adorable Husky.

The Veteran’s mother was overjoyed that the puppy was now safe. Although she couldn’t keep Xena herself, she didn’t want the puppy to go to a shelter, either.

Wilson and Rogers were able to successfully place the puppy into a new home with a gentleman who had recently lost his dog of the same breed.

The two nurses and the Veteran’s mother stayed in close contact. They helped the bereaved mom get her son’s affairs in order and gave her emotional support. They reassured her that her son was never alone or in any pain.

VA nurses Maureen Wilson (left) and Liz Rogers.

Later, when the Veteran’s mother – lost in an unfamiliar city – made a distraught call for help, Rogers immediately left a personal engagement to guide the woman to her son’s home.

“They are an asset to the nursing profession.”

Learning the mother would be staying in town for about a week, Rogers made sure she was safe and settled. Together with Wilson, she collected fresh linens and towels and took them over to the Veteran’s apartment.

“This is the true heart of a nurse,” said Stacy Stoeckert, RN, who supervises both Rogers and Wilson. “Both of these nurses are not only an asset to the VA system but to the nursing profession, as well.”

Michelle Spivak works with the VHA Office of Communications; Scott Ballard works with the Office of Nursing Services.

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Published on Mar. 28, 2021

Estimated reading time is 2.2 min.

Views to date: 184


  1. George Smith April 2, 2021 at 9:28 am

    Simply Compassionate. These lady’s go beyond their own call of duty to help with their kindness. We are very lucky to have them out there doing this difficult work.

  2. Debra A Ray April 1, 2021 at 2:09 pm

    If he signed himself in he can sign himself out. If he was involuntarily committed that’s a whole different thing but there is still no need to be hateful or mean to him.

  3. Michael Molamphy March 31, 2021 at 11:23 pm

    Shout out for you being so kind to the veteran, his mom and dog. Bless you. MJM Vietnam vet.

  4. Shannon Patzer March 31, 2021 at 9:00 pm

    VA has great nurses that in my opinion and experience go way above and beyond in the care they give to their veterans. I recently had a very good experience at the Ann Arbor VAMC inpatient. They made sure my dog was taken care of while I had to be there healing.

  5. Mr Phillips jr. March 30, 2021 at 12:57 am

    Is their any one that can help .. I’m the son of a wonderful father that is being held involuntary at Rockledge Regional Medical Center. They say they are helping but they are keeping him cause of his Disabilty he said they are taking his food from him and being hateful to him…
    Thanks to all those that served and that still serve .. GOD BLESS ALL

  6. Richard Herman March 29, 2021 at 4:57 pm

    god bless these 2 beautiful nurses for being so compassionate and professional. Rest in peace veteran. handsome husky pooch. hope he loves his new home.

  7. Ed Perhay March 29, 2021 at 1:07 pm

    I never had a dog, but will always remember the one the unit unofficially housed and fed for a long time. Little oh “Bandit” was one we saw and interacted with daily. He always made us smile and gave us a lift when we might have otherwise had a down day. Hat’s off to the nurses who helped this man’s pup make it into another’s life..

    RVN Vet

  8. charles McPherson March 28, 2021 at 4:21 pm

    Thank you for all you do for us that and believe me never built on lies

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