Being a professional truck driver is hard on your health. Just ask Leiontine Myers, who drives a truck with her husband, Jason, long distances every day.
“We have all the issues of someone who sits in a wheelchair,” she said. “We sit for 14 hours and sleep for 10 hours.” Leiontine, who goes by Lee, said over the years working as a truck driver she kept putting on 10 or 15 pounds. With that weight gain comes a lot of health issues.
Lee recently experienced one health issue when she and her husband were hauling a load from Portland to Seattle.
“I was experiencing chest pain, acid reflux, and throwing up,” she said. They made it home to Lacrosse, where they live, but she was feeling awful. The next day they went to the emergency department at Colfax and tests concluded that she needed her gallbladder removed. She was sent to Pullman Regional Hospital for surgery. She stayed in the hospital for 3 ½ days to recover, during which time Blake Brackin, R.N., took care of her.
“I had problems with the anesthesia and when I woke up, Blake was sitting right there for me,” she said. “He walked with me every day. We talked like we were old friends.”
Lee explains how helpful Blake was by “hooking me up with a number of things,” like financial services, social services, and smoking cessation to name a few.
“My doctor was great and the other nurses were great but Blake just really stood out,” she said. Lee nominated Blake for DAISY Award, an international recognition program for nurses. Blake was the recipient of the DAISY Award in November 2019.
“People will judge you when you are overweight and it can really affect you,” Lee said. “With Blake, I did not feel like a fat person but a person who received resources and support that have come full circle, to help me find a healthier path for living.”