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'He saw me as a whole person’: How one nursing assistant’s Christlike care changed a life

by | Oct. 09, 2020

Growing up, Jodi Orgill Brown felt unstoppable and ready to conquer the world. She completed a four-year degree in three years and built a life she loved with her family. But when Brown began having dizzy spells, frequent headaches, and immobilizing nausea, the life she knew came to a screeching halt. 

She shares about the painful diagnosis of a brain tumor in a new video published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as well as her other subsequent and impactful experiences.

Following brain surgery, Brown began navigating a life with a paralyzed face, a head covered in scars and staples, and an exhausted body in need of regular help from healthcare workers. She quickly realized these caregivers greatly influenced how she felt each day. “Every interaction is an opportunity to change a life,” she states in the video.

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She then shares two experiences with certified nursing assistants: one in which she felt her dignity was lost, and the other in which she felt strength return to her. What made the difference?

For Brown, the difference was a kind man named Lucas who washed her hair. Though initially apprehensive, Brown decided to trust him even though she had a negative experience with a different certified nursing assistant nine days earlier. 

In the video, she describes each thoughtful action Lucas took on her behalf and why these actions mattered to her. “The process that could have taken five minutes, Lucas spent 30 minutes kindly, tenderly, gently massaging strength and humanity back into me. His every action told me he did not see me as maimed, or as cast out, or as sick. He saw me as a whole person, but one who was hurting,” she says.

Watch her full story here or in the video below.

Lead image: Screenshot from YouTube
Author profile

Valerie Russell

Valerie Russell is the current editorial intern for LDS Living. She is a graduate of Michigan State University, which is also where she discovered the restored gospel and joined the Church. With a bachelor’s degree in human biology, she delights in translating her research and analytical skills into journalism. She believes that nothing is too hard for the Savior and that life is made infinitely better by good stories and sweet dogs.

Comments and feedback can be sent to feedback@ldsliving.com