The widow of a fallen Richardson police officer helped present a national award for nursing care to an emergency room nurse who tried to save the officer's life. Nicole Sherrard surprised registered nurse Kim Adams during a monthly nurses meeting at Medical City Plano Wednesday morning.
Adams burst into tears as soon as Sherrard walked in during the presentation for The DAISY Award.
"It will forever affect me. I think about him every day," Adams told reporters. "I have a picture of him in my locker, a picture of him hangs on the wall in the ER."
Adams was on duty the night Richardson police officer David Sherrard was shot when he confronted an armed gunman in February. Adams started an IV, noticed Sherrard's wedding ring and began to pray.
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Adams, herself, is the wife of a police officer in Allen. She said she knew a family was about to get the worst news of their lives.
"Right before my eyes, she didn't know yet but her -- our -- worst nightmare was coming true," Adams said. "Right in front of me, I was watching it."
"I didn't know where she was, who she was, but I was praying for her to be surrounded by peace and strength because I knew what she was about to find out," Adams said.
The night Sherrard died, Michelle Hooks, director of emergency services at the hospital, said Adams stayed three hours past her shift to make sure everyone was OK.
Adams then painted a portrait for Sherrard's family and left it at a memorial set up in front of the Richardson Police Department. Through word of mouth, Adams connected with Sherrard and let her know another officer's wife was with Officer Sherrard in his final moments.
"That just shows the blue family. Everybody doesn't understand that bond," Nicole Sherrard said. "Two women who have never met, and for her to want to reach out and share that, that means the world to me."
"I wanted to hear that. That does mean something to me to know she was there praying before we even got there," Sherrard said.
The women have kept in touch since February. Adams said they had lunch the day before the award presentation and teased Sherrard about keeping the surprise a secret.
Adams said Officer Sherrard's death has affected her deeply.
"I don't think I'll ever get over it and I think that's OK," Adams said. "That's just going to stay with me. I don't know, I just think that's OK."
Sherrard said she and her daughters still have good and bad days. The family, she said, leans on their faith and the friendships forged in the tragedy.
"I believe God is a big factor there. I believe this happened for a reason, we may never know that reason for sure but I believe He's what keeps us going," Sherrard said. "I have to get up every day for my children and be strong for them so that they know they can be strong."
Medical City Plano said Adams is the first nurse at the hospital to receive a DAISY. The DAISY (Diseases Attacking the Immune System) Foundation is a nonprofit created in 1999 after J. Patrick Barnes died at age 33 from complications of idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura. His family was so moved by the nursing care he received that they started the foundation to recognize extraordinary nurses with The DAISY Award.