In his State of the Nation address held at Washington, USA last Tuesday, United States President Barack Obama hailed a Filipino nurse as an aspiring role model. The name of the nurse is Menchu Sanchez. Sanchez is a fifty-six year old US registered nurse who was actually born, raised, and educated in the Philippines. She lives at New Jersey and has currently worked as a nurse in the USA for 25 years.

Sanchez is the nurse who headed rescue operations for hospitalized infants during the disaster brought by superstorm Sandy last year. In honor of the good nurse, she was invited to join US First Lady, Michelle Obama to sit beside her in her viewing box.

President Obama said, “We should follow the example of a New York City nurse named Menchu Sanchez. When Hurricane Sandy plunged her hospital into darkness, she wasn’t thinking about how her own home was faring,” He added, “Her mind was on the 20 precious newborns in her care and the rescue plan she devised that kept them all safe.”. Furthermore, the White House has declared that Sanchez is one of the “extraordinary Americans who exemplify the themes and ideals laid out in the State of the Union Address,”.

Last year, amidst the tragedy of the Sandy hurricane, at NYU Langone Medical Center, Sanchez devised a plan of transporting twenty critically-ill infants to different Intensive Care Units across the State. According to a certain blog site, “She organized the nurses and doctors to carefully carry the babies down eight flights of stairs with only cell phones to light the way,” The site added: “Even as Menchu’s own home was flooding, she thought only of protecting the babies in her care.” Sanchez was also interviewed by where she shared the horrendous experience she had. According to her, as soon as the power went out, she immediately thought that the ventilators used for the infants would also shut down, and she was right. She said, “We knew immediately we had to get the babies downstairs”.“With the elevators out, we didn’t have a lot of choices.”, she added.

Senior Vice President for Patient Care Services, Kimberly S. Glassman, said about Sanchez: “She’s the one who thought of taking the babies down in a warming pad, cradled in the arms of a single nurse to keep them warm and secure”

Sanchez is the second Filipino nurse to be honored by President Obama during the past several months.

Nursing is a calling. It is about passion, not only about the science it has, but also for the preservation of human life. Sanchez exemplified excellence and precise critical thinking during a time when resources are limited and disaster hounds every corner. May her exercise of altruistic care serve as an example for millions of nurse around the globe, especially to Filipinos. After all, caring and passion are two of the characteristics Filipinos are known for.

“A salute to you, Miss Sanchez!…”-From the Filipino Nursing Community.s

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