Chicago area nurse fulfills promise to dying patient four years later

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WHEATON, Ill. Four years ago, a nurse at Marianjoy Hospital held her dying patient’s hand and made a promise.

Sanja Josipovic was having anything but an ordinary day at work when she was tending patients, knowing she was about to serve a patient from four years back, a woman named Chevala.

The two women had some striking similarities; both were of similar age, were mothers and came to the U.S. as refugees from Bosnia.

For six months, Sanja was at Chevala’s side, caring for and comforting her as her life drew closer to the end.

Chevala was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer, and made one last request to her nurse on Christmas Eve 2016.

“I promised her that when Edina graduates I will be there,” Josipovic said. Edina was an aspiring nursing student at the time, and Chevala wanted Josipovic there for Edina’s entry into her career.

Over the years, Sanja checked in on Edina, helping her obtain an entry-level job in her wing at the hospital when she completed school, but never shared the promise she made to her mother.

Yesterday, Josipovic made her way to the front of Edina’s pinning ceremony to remember Chevala and to tell Edina of the promise she made.

“That’s something. It’s hard to describe. My heart is full,” Josipovic said.

Edina said she felt her mother’s presence and feels how proud she is of her.

Sanja and Edina have been assigned to work in the same hospital wing as well, meaning the two will treat patients alongside one another.

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