“It’s not just a job; it can’t ever be just a job.”
Judy Boyles lives in Hickory, North Carolina with her husband of eight years and their young daughter. Of her husband, she says, “I never thought we would get married as quickly as we did, but I can’t see myself with anyone else. I am so grateful for the man and Father that he is. I just love him.”
Judy has been a registered nurse for 16 years and currently works as a telenurse at a 24-hour advice nurse line. She says what inspired her to go into the nursing field was a traumatic childhood experience. “My dad had an aneurysm when I was two years old, and as a result, he was in a nursing home for 25 years. That was a major inspiration for me. Because of this, my mom had to work odd jobs that didn’t pay very well, and I decided early on that not only did I want to help others, but that I also needed to have a job that I could take care of myself with.”
Life as a Nurse
Judy has given 16 years of her life to helping others, and Homes for Heroes could not be more grateful for people like Judy that provide so much of themselves to their community.
When asked what her favorite memory is of being a nurse for more than a decade, Judy responds, “I enjoy knowing that I have helped others. I love hearing back from families and patients that I have helped. I know that they appreciate me. Over the course of 16 years, all of my best memories on the job tend to run together, but there are several great ones that stand out.”
One of Judy’s favorite memories is of an elderly man who went every day to visit his wife in a nursing home and have lunch with her. “This elderly man had fallen ill and finally came to the emergency room to take care of himself. I could tell that he was really anxious about how long we were taking, and he kept saying ‘my wife expects me for lunch every day, and if I don’t leave soon, I’m going to miss it.’ This man’s devotion to his wife just touched me. I jumped to work and got him out of there as quickly as I possibly could. A couple of days later he brought me a dozen roses that he placed in a coffee can to say ‘thank you for taking the time to understand why I was in a hurry.’ This was ten years ago, and it still touches my heart every time I think about how grateful he was just to have lunch with his wife that day, and knowing I helped get him there was just the icing on the cake.” says Mrs. Boyles.
Although Judy loves life as a nurse and has accumulated many fond and touching memories, she does admit that it is not always roses and coffee cans. “There are so many times that I know patients look at us like we are heartless and uncaring. You truly do try to do your best and give your full attention to every patient in the emergency room, and we are only human.
Patients have no idea what we have had to deal with that day. The reality is, the general population doesn’t want to hear about it. We deal with things that we will never forget, but we have to keep going, put a smile on our face and just keep going.
Some days, I would cry all the way home thinking about my patients and pray for them. There are always so many things going on in our head, and people have no idea. And sometimes, we have a flat affect, but truly underneath, we are pushing some horrible, awful things back so that we can keep doing our job.”
Judy says, “What has proven to be the greatest benefit of my career is that I now have a lot of general health information and the knowledge to help myself and my family. I know when to treat an illness at home and when to be seen. I know that my friends hate to ask me for help, but it is nice to know that they trust me enough to call and ask questions about their children if they need to. I know how much their children mean to them, and to know they can trust me enough to ask me things is a wonderful feeling. Nursing is what I do every day. Why wouldn’t I use that to help friends and family?”
When asked if she would encourage her six-year-old daughter to become a nurse she responds, “That’s a difficult question to answer. I want her to decide what path she wants to choose in life and nursing is absolutely challenging at times: emotionally, mentally and physically. You cannot leave everything at work like other jobs. It is a true calling. I would only want her to follow my steps if she felt that calling herself. She really is great with helping people. I can see that she has the potential to be a nurse. It’s such a heavy choice. It’s not just a job; it can’t ever be just a job.”
Judy and her family plan to continue to enjoy life together. They love to travel, and Judy’s favorite destination is Disney World. She and her family plan make as many memories as they can. “I don’t see myself doing any other type of work. Once you’re a nurse, you don’t ever retire. We have built our dream home, and it’s perfect for us. The neighborhood is ideal for my daughter, and it is nice to be here, where we feel like we need to be. We plan to make a lot of memories in this home, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for my family.”
Homes for Heroes was honored to help Judy and her family save money on their second home purchase. Of Homes for Heroes, she says, “In our field, it can feel like there is no admiration or appreciation. Homes for Heroes truly proves that there is still someone caring about us and what we do. It is so nice to know that there are programs like this available to people like me. Any money we can save is very much appreciated. Homes for Heroes is the only program that does specific things for nurses with nurses, and it means a lot that we are acknowledged in this way.”
If you are a nurse or one of the other heroes that we so willingly serve, please sign up with us now so that we can give back to you in your home buying, selling, or refinancing process.