Flight nurse Myra Waddell recently completed her 4,000th patient transport as part of Children’s of Alabama CAREFlight Critical Care Transport, a milestone in her nursing career that was undoubtedly inspired by her own experience with medical transport as a child.

Waddell is the second person to have reached this milestone at Children’s and did so during a flight from Prattville to Birmingham in April.

“Myra is a perfect example that proves events and circumstances in someone’s life can’t stop you from achieving your goals, but may surely influence how you reach them,” said Jason Peterson, RN, Critical Care Transport program director.  “Myra spends her work days caring for critically ill and injured children when transporting them by helicopter, jet or ambulance here at Children’s of Alabama. I know she takes care of every patient and family that she encounters, much like, or better than, she was taken care of in her own time of need.”

Accolades for Waddell’s achievement poured in on social media. Here are just a few of them:

“Thank you and congrats, Myra. She was one of the Critical Care Transport nurses that took my son from Children’s to UAB for an urgent surgery. She advocated to get my son exactly what he needed at UAB. I felt very comfortable with my loved one in her hands.”

“She took great care of my Noah multiple times. I was always so glad to see her when he was transported because I knew he was in good hands! Way to go, Myra!”

“Congratulations, Myra! I’m never excited to need a transport to Children’s, but I’m always so happy when it’s you who arrives to help! Thanks for being awesome!”

 “Congratulations, Myra! I’d absolutely want you helping my children in a time of critical need! One of the best flight nurses by far I’ve ever worked with or around!”

“Thank you, Myra! You transported our daughter to Children’s almost two years ago when she was 2 days old. You all were incredible and we are very grateful.”

As a child, Waddell was transported to a hospital because of an injury. That experience inspired her to become a nurse, joining the Children’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) in April 1998 and Critical Care Transport the following year.

“Some of my most gratifying moments on the job are when the patient’s parents tell me later how much comfort and calmness I made them feel,” Waddell said. “I realize we are asking a lot from these parents when we walk in the door.  I am asking them to trust a complete stranger with their most prized possession in their darkest time.  So, when they tell me how much comfort I gave them and they felt they could trust me with their child, I feel like I have done all of my job.”