We met as strangers and said goodbye as family.”

Bedside nurses don’t always get that kind of praise from family members who go through the heartbreak of watching a loved one pass in the hospital. Those words were meant for Dakota Rogers, a registered nurse in Atrium Health Floyd Medical Center’s Intensive Care Unit.

His determination to provide compassionate care for a dying patient and grieving family members made an impression as he worked to make sure they got what they needed.

“There was little time this nurse was not in the room with us monitoring her, checking her stats and making sure that my mom and I were cared for, too,” wrote the family member who nominated Rogers for a DAISY Award. “It was a LONG night, and this nurse’s passion, work ethic and ample knowledge …. was untouchable. This nurse is someone that you instantly feel the passion for the job from, and with every hurdle quickly jumped in headfirst to resolve the issue at hand.”

As a result, Rogers was named the June winner of the DAISY Award at the hospital. He has been a teammate at Floyd for four years.

“I get to come up here a lot, and I am excited about that because that means you are a group of people who really love what you do and love your patients,” said Sheila Bennett, senior vice president and chief of patient services at Floyd, who presented the award to Rogers.

The DAISY Award is an international program that recognizes bedside nurses for the exceptional care they provide. The family of Patrick Barnes established the award after he died from an auto-immune disease while being treated in a Seattle hospital.

Rogers was presented with a DAISY pin and a sculpture entitled “A Healer’s Touch.” Members of the Shona Tribe in Zimbabwe hand-carve the sculptures.

The nurse and his 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.

“I certainly wasn’t expecting it,” Rogers said. “Getting to know people and helping them through hard times is a rewarding part of being a nurse.”

His impact on the family will not be forgotten.

“This nurse has met their calling, and I know God is working through this person,” wrote the family member. “Though things did not end as we expected, our family is incredibly thankful to have been assigned to this nurse. It made saying goodbye a little easier knowing the care we received was top tier.”