Saving a life
In 2017, the Rev. Vaughn Baker's wife, Jacque, donated an automated external defibrillator (AED) to Silver Creek, recognizing that it would be valuable in case of an emergency. With no knowledge of how to use the AED, the Rev. Baker contacted Cindy Bozarth, B.S.N., R.N. He had met Cindy through the pastor at Lighthouse Fellowship United Methodist Church, where Cindy serves as a Faith Community nurse. She agreed to teach a class to about 20 people with help from Kimberlin Moore, M.S.N., R.N., program manager, Texas Health Community Health Improvement.
"People are afraid, but once they take the class, they see how quickly they need to start compressions and how hard and fast those compressions need to be, and then they gain confidence," Moore said.
Less than a year later, that confidence would be crucial for the chair of the Church Council who attended the class.
In November, at home in Aledo, this class member was alerted by his wife that his step-daughter was in the car and had quit breathing. While his wife called 9-1-1, he ran to the car and discovered his step-daughter had gone limp and was turning blue. Remembering what he had learned almost a year ago, he laid her across the seat and began chest compressions; she began breathing right as the EMTs arrived.
The gravity of the situation was not lost on her family and church members.
"He saved her life," said Baker.
On the same team
As one of the more than 100 Faith Community nurses trained by Texas Health, Cindy embraces the goal of integrating spiritual care with the practice of nursing.
"Faith Community Nursing helps us save lives outside of the hospital," said Bozarth. "It gives churches a connection with a hospital so that we can provide life-saving resources."
At Silver Creek, Baker appreciates the connection.
"Like hospitals, churches are a healing ministry," Baker said. "While hospitals focus on the restoration of physical bodies, we are all about the restoration of what God has done in someone's life. A strong partnership exists between faith and medicine; we are on the same team."