PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - The residents of Belle Meade gave back to one of their nurses who has given so much.
Casey Hollis has been a nurse with Belle Meade for less than a year, but when she comes into work every day, she feels at home.
"Every morning I wake up and I enjoy coming into work," Hollis said.
Hollis has also been struggling with multiple sclerosis for 17 years.
She was diagnosed when she was 18, and at that moment, she knew she wanted to be a nurse.
"In that moment there was something that changed me and ever since then it has been my journey to make a difference," Hollis said.
Hollis said there are several hardships that come with MS like vision problems, pain and numbness, but that will not stop her from doing what she loves.
"She is there for anybody who needs her, whether she feels like it or not," Belle Meade resident Mary Jernigan said.
The patients at Belle Meade are thankful for Hollis's passion to be a nurse.
"There is nothing else I can say about her, it's just that I love her, I love her like one of my kids," Jernigan said.
Hollis recently had a setback and was out of work for two weeks due to a relapse.
Hollis said one of the hardest parts was being away from Belle Meade. She visited almost every day while she recovered.
"I mean they are my family," Hollis said.
During Hollis' relapse she was diagnosed with neuromyelitis optica (NMO), better known as Devic's disease, which Hollis said is similar to MS.
"I had to learn to walk again, the feeling in my legs went away and they didn't feel the same," Hollis said.
When Hollis returned to work she was surprised by the warm welcome.
The entire center threw her a welcome back party and several residents and staff members bought shirts in honor of her.
Hollis also received a donation from Belle Meade to help pay for some of her medical bills.
Hollis was shocked with the generosity, but the patients were just happy to have their wonderful nurse back.
"When she is better we all are, when she is able to come back we all rejoice in it because she means a lot to all of us," Jernigan said.
Hollis said sometimes it is hard being a nurse and a patient at the same time.
"It is harder than what you would expect, when you're laying in the bed and knowing what is going on, it makes it that much harder because you want the answer," Hollis said.
However, she would not trade her job for anything.
She wants all those with MS to know you can still follow your passion in life.
"Don't give up, it is hard but God is there for you and prayer, the power of prayer it works," Hollis said.
She hopes all those struggling can also find a support system and family like she has at Belle Meade.
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