This week is a time to honor nurses who sacrifice and answer the call to take care of others day in and day out all over the world.  Today we pay tribute to Erica Owen, a compassionate and beautiful young woman who put her heart and soul into her nursing career.

If you do not personally know Erica you may recognize her name from the news when her life was tragically ended in the summer of 2018.

Her family and friends choose to remember the beautiful and infectious light she brought to the world.  Many of them shared with us stories and memories of her time here on earth.

Erica's mom Lisa Greer shared with me the loss of her beautiful daughter has left a huge hole in her heart.  What she wanted most was for people to continue to share;

"We just remember how full of life and how much she blessed all who knew her. My whole world has been turned upside down. She was my daughter and my best friend and the only thing that gets me through is knowing I will see her again."

Nicole Biggs talked about Erica's passion for nursing;

There is honestly no one else in his world like Erica. Her excitement and enthusiasm for helping people were like no other. One of her favorite things to say was “Well, I’m a nurse.” That was normally followed by a health-related statement using big words we’ve never heard of. She was so proud of the fact she was a nurse, as she should have been. We literally called her for all medical-related questions. She was always in nurse mode without even trying. She was the sweetest person and had a contagious smile. She always saw the good in people. She was fun, spunky, and sassy. Erica loved to listen and talk and tell stories. Erica was an inspiration to all people she touched in life, her patients, co-workers, family, and friends.

Brooklyn Aud remembers how she was a friend who became family;

Friends are the family of which we decide and are by each other’s side through thick and thin. You know they say that everyone enters your life for a reason. I believe that. There are certain people though, who have a very special place in your heart. The ones you’ll never forget. I met Erica when I was a freshman in high school. We instantly bonded and she became one of my closest friends. I have so many memories and stories with Erica that I will hold on and cherish forever. She was always there for us when we needed a shoulder to cry on and a person we did life with. She always had the best advice, real and sometimes raw. She made such an impact on so many lives. Now and forever we will share not only all the lives she has touched as a nurse but all the friendships she made here on earth. You’re our shining star.

Wyndi Hope Stovall shared;

The first time I met Erica, it was during her interview for a CNA position on our unit. The first thing I noticed about Erica was her smile. Her smile was infectious. I got the opportunity to watch her grow from a young CNA into this fierce, compassionate nurse and her patients loved her. I miss her spunk and feisty-ness. Thank you for doing this. Erica was the sweetest soul and she was taken way too soon. She deserved so much more.
Jene Deskins talks about Erica and their friend Lauren Girten (who passed from cancer);
Erica spoke of Lauren (Girten) often. She would tell great stories and she would tell sad ones. But essentially Lauren is the reason Erica wanted to be a nurse. Erica spent many days and nights with Lauren at the hospital, helping to take care of her, support her and just be there. I always hated that Erica had lost her best friend, but I would tell her to keep pushing through school and finish for Lauren. I never thought that I would very soon find out how it felt to lose my best friend.
LeAnne Strobel Curry calls Erica a "Fast Friend;
Erica is what I like to refer to as a “fast friend”, we instantly connected the first time we met. She was a ball of fire, but had a heart bigger than the body that carried hers. Her quick wit could make you laugh in an instant and her ability to build you up as a person was unmatched. Erica had this amazing gift of being “a helper”, and was always willing to do whatever she could. Whether it was taking care of her patients, her family or her friends. One of the things I treasure most were our morning phone calls. We talked nearly every morning while she was on her way home from work and I was on my way to work. She was truly one in a million, and I was blessed to be a small part of her life.
Kayelynn McFadden says Erica was a healer & fixer;
Erica was one of my very first friends. It’s hard to find a memory from my life that she isn’t a big part of! From being 9 years old singing Shania Twain songs into our hairbrushes to going to WKU together to pursue our dream careers, we were always each other’s person. Erica poured her whole heart into everything she did, but especially into her job. She didn’t just become a nurse when she graduated. She was our fixer and our healer from the beginning, way before she put on her first scrubs. It’s just who she was! E was who you could call when you needed a belly laugh, a partner in crime, or a word of advice. She is so so loved and so missed every single day!

I did not know Erica but as I read each memory and every story I found myself wishing she had been my best friend.  What a beautiful soul to enter this world.  She brought love and laughter to all she met.  People were better for knowing her.

May each of her family and friends find comfort in knowing she touched so many lives in the time she spent here on earth.

HAPPY NATIONAL NURSE'S WEEK ERICA~

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