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Gratitude inspires
stories of hope

Pat and Jim Pape

Making a Difference for Students in Need

When we were in need, you extended financial support and for that I will always be thankful.

Mariah, a nursing student who was helped by the Emergency Compassion Fund

Patricia (Pat) Girard’s love for people and caring nature drew her to a career in nursing in the early 1950s.

When Pat was studying to become a nurse, she was doing her clinical training at Barnes Hospital while she attended Washington University School of Nursing. One day, she walked off the elevator and laid eyes on James (Jim) Pape, a seminary student, and it was love at first sight. Pat and Jim went on to marry and have four children, Debbie, Sue, Jay, and Rick.

Throughout her career, Pat was a hard worker and enjoyed learning the science behind everything, but her favorite part of being a nurse was being able to listen to patients’ stories. She believed that everyone had a story and every story mattered.

After Pat and Jim passed, their children wanted to do something to honor their memory. Debbie Fraser, Pat and Jim’s oldest daughter, reached out to The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital to discuss the best way to remember her parents’ legacy. When she heard about students who were struggling to attend school due to unexpected life events, she knew that was exactly how her parents would want to help.

In memory of her parents, Debbie and her siblings created the Goldfarb School of Nursing Emergency Compassion Fund to assist students who face unexpected situations that affect their ability to complete their education. This fund not only helps students in need, but honors Jim and Pat’s heart for helping others.

Support When Crisis Hits

Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College is filled with incredible, passionate students that inspire the world around them. Becoming a nurse is no easy feat. Between demanding academic schedules and intensive subject matter, Goldfarb students are hardworking and committed to their goals— providing leading-edge compassionate care to patients and their families.

But, life can be unpredictable, and sometimes Goldfarb students face devastating emergency situations that have the potential of disrupting their education. Michael Ward, vice dean for student a_airs and diversity, sees firsthand the toll these events can take on students.

“The Emergency Compassion Fund exists to provide financial assistance to nursing students who encounter emergencies or crisis situations that impact their ability to complete their education,” Dr. Ward says. “That’s why the Emergency Compassion Fund is critical to students’ success.”

One student in particular, Mariah, knows exactly how vital the Emergency Compassion Fund can be. Mariah and her family have dealt with many events that no one plans for. She lost her home to a fire and dealt with multiple unexpected family deaths, all while pursuing her nursing education.

However, nothing compares to the phone call that Mariah received one November day. “I never expected to hear that my sweet, nine-year-old stepson had been shot in the chest during a hunting accident,” she says. “My whole world was shook. Such an emotional and financial burden on our young family was too much to bear alone.”

Thankfully, the Emergency Compassion Fund was there to help Mariah and her family pay the medical expenses, so she could continue her schooling without the additional financial stress of emergency medical bills. Now, her stepson is expected to make a complete recovery, and Mariah shares that life after nursing school is very promising.

“ Your generosity altered our path in a positive direction,” she says. “When we were in need, you extended financial support and for that I will always be thankful.”

Mariah, now employed as a sta. nurse on a medical-surgical unit at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, is using her experience to better care for patients with heart wrenching stories of their own.

“I didn’t realize that the things that would ultimately prepare me to care for my patients would never make it onto my résumé,” she says. “Things like love and loss, having the world turned upside down but putting your scrubs on anyway, and witnessing the warmth of human care and compassion that comes from generous donors like you.”