The Helen B. Skelos Nursing Education Fund
About My Campaign
Helen worked at NYU Winthrop University Hospital for over fifteen years. Her last job was in the legal department as a risk manager. On September 13, 2019, while at work going from building to building, Helen was struck as a pedestrian crossing the street. My wife sustained severe brain trauma as well as other bodily injuries. After a six week battle, operations, and procedures, Helen left us to go to heaven.
There is a Greek word that I came across recently. The word Filotimo does not exist in any other language. Filotimo involves personal pride, dignity, courage, duty, sacrifice, and logical thinking. It is courtesy among others, one self, and your duty to show and demand it. Helen liked to make everything and everyone around her special. It was her natural way, she didn’t even have to think about it. When you spoke to Helen, she listened, she cared what you said. Helen always showed people respect. My wife worked hard, always doing her best at work. All who came into contact with her would say Helen always cared. At home with family and friends, we all were touched by her natural way.
From the first moment of Helen's care, until the very last moment, Helen was in good hands. The entire staff at NYU Winthrop are extraordinary people. The special care that Helen received was incredible. Dr. Joseph, Dr. Hannah, Dr. Baldasar, Dr. Rubin, Dr. Grant the gifted surgeon, as well as so many other doctors. All the PA’s, technicians, Shun the pharmacist, Lyndsey the dietician, physical therapists deserve so much credit and recognition. All were such caring special people. They were always willing to explain everything, always taking the time. They all saved her life, gave her a chance for a miracle. When Helen was transferred to Good Shepherd Hospice at Mercy Medical Center, the special care continued. The staff at Good Shepard were so compassionate to Helen, myself and family.
Spending six weeks in a SICU unit can change the way you see things in life. I’m an observant person. And what I saw were young men and women who truly have a passion for what they do. I will never forget Helens first two nurses. Kristen, and Suzette. They worked so hard keeping my wife alive, the pressure on them was palpable. All the nurses following days and nights, weeks showed such care and compassion. Curran, Danielle, Jessica, Anthony, Russell, little Faye, Faye, took care of my wife but also took care of my family. Nurse manager Nicole is a very special person. It was our conversations that gave me the idea of this nursing fund.
The Helen B. Skelos Nursing Education Fund
Education in this country is so important, whatever industry or career. Observing the layers of staffing in a hospital really impressed me. Coordinating all these layers, medically, technically, communicating must be very complicated. For nurses to continually educate themselves is one of the aspects that makes our health care industry so special. Raising two sons, both getting their degree, and further, I’m fully aware of the burden of tuition and the cost of education. I would like to help relieve part of that burden. That is my goal, to offer a scholarship to a nurse in critical care who wants to further his or her education.
The second week of May is National Nurses Appreciation week. At this time the Helen B. Skelos Nursing Education Fund will present the scholarship to critical care nurse seeking further education. Through donations and fundraisers, we hope to make this fund sustainable for years to come. Helen would be so humbled by this Nursing fund, but she would also be so excited to help young nurses.
2020 has been a very difficult year. Many families lost loved ones due to this virus. Many people put their own lives and the lives of family at risk, none more than health care workers around the world. Nurses are at the front lines of this pandemic. They deserve the respect and recognition of all of us. Helen would not have done well in these socially distant times. Helen always wanted to touch, hug, hold, and kiss the people she cared about.
Nothing was more important to Helen than family. Billy and George were raised by a very traditional Greek mother, who taught them the importance of love of family, love of god and church, and to respect others. Helen was very close to her mother, extremely proud of her brother. Valerie was Helen's little sister, and there was nothing the two of them wouldn’t do for one another. She adored her little sister. My siblings loved Helen so much, and she loved them equally. To Helen it was very important to have a close relationship with all her nieces and nephews. We were all so devastated by this tragic accident, I don’t know where I’d be without the love and support of our families.
I don’t want my wife’s tragedy to go in vain. Helen always helped people, she was a giver. Please consider a yearly commitment to this fund.
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