Judy Phillips, a nurse at Atrium Health Floyd Medical Center who is going through her own cancer journey, knew just how to comfort a patient who was also facing her own struggle.

“When Judy came in this morning, she could tell that I was struggling with my faith a little bit. She sat down beside me and told me that she too had been diagnosed with cancer and had been going through treatments,” the patient wrote, nominating Phillips for a DAISY Award.

“She then pointed to a handmade bracelet on her wrist that said ‘Pray.’ Judy said that her friend had given it to her when she needed it, and whenever she looked down at it, she would pray for God’s strength and thank him for all that he had done in her life,” the patient wrote. “She said it was now time to pass the bracelet on to someone else who needed it. The fact that she is going through something so big, but can still put others above herself says so much about the person she is. Thank you. You were a blessing in my life this morning. God bless you.”

The DAISY Award is an international program that recognizes bedside nurses for the exceptional care they provide patients. The family of Patrick Barnes established the award after he died from an autoimmune disease while being treated in a Seattle hospital. Potential DAISY winners can only be nominated by a patient or a patient’s family member.

Phillips, a registered nurse with Inpatient Rehabilitation, was presented with a DAISY pin and a sculpture entitled “A Healer’s Touch.” DAISY sculptures are hand-carved for the DAISY Foundation by members of the Shona Tribe in Zimbabwe.

The nurse and her teammates were also treated with cinnamon buns, a DAISY tradition because it was one of the few things Patrick Barnes could eat while he was hospitalized.

Phillips, who has worked on and off at Floyd for about 30 years, has been in her own fight with cancer for about a year.

“I knew just how she felt,” Phillips said of the patient she helped. “I knew how I wanted to be treated and so I was able to treat her the same way.”

“Sometimes we have our own challenges, and we never know when we can use our own challenges for good,” said Sheila Bennett, senior vice president and chief of patient services at Atrium Health Floyd, who presented Phillips with the award.