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  • Frances Schwabenland

Portrait of a hero in the time of covid

Updated: Jan 23, 2023

In honor of Nurse’s Day, I wanted to share two wonderful people who are both nurses as well as husband and wife. 

We the people of hope and healing.

Usually I begin with a quote but after being with Staci and Brian, it was only one word that echoed in my mind as we talked. 


There would be no other word to capture the tenderness of the love they share with each other and their son, Jason. Love is meant to be given away and that they do so well. It is what they bring to their patients at Abington-Jefferson Hospital. Together they have more than 37 years of nursing. Staci is on the Vascular Access Team and Brian is a nurse on the Float Pool which means that he is now working mostly with Covid 19 patients. Brian related that he has never seen so much dying in all of his years of nursing. Those words had such an unnerving and powerful rippling effect. It called for us to just pause and we all just stood there in a profound silence of understanding. As of last weekend, there were so many patients with Covid in the hospital. Putting themselves at risk day in and day out, 12 hour shifts and working within a health care system so in need of more gowns and face masks, speaks even more to how dedicated they are to the science and art of healing. 

Love takes many forms. It releases and helps one rise in their beauty. It holds tenderly and nurtures so I chose the open hand and the releasing of butterflies from the Philadelphia Mural, “Metamorphosis” by Josh Sarantitis. Red flowers symbolize love and white flowers against a beautiful sky for renewal. I added fireworks because in an instant the darkest of nights can be transformed with brilliant light. Together, their love is truly a brilliant light! I can only imagine how darkness is lifted when Brian and Staci walk into a patient’s room. Can we make this the year of the nurses!…a day just doesn’t do it!

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