After working in entomology for a number of years, Masonic Mission Awardee Dani Wiklund was ready for a different profession, one grounded in both art and science. Nursing seemed like the perfect fit.
Now, after more than a decade in the field, Wiklund is a pediatric cardiovascular intensive care nurse at University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital. There, she cares for children with congenital and acquired heart defects during their most critical and vulnerable moments, a calling that has not only helped patients and families, but enriched her own life.
“I am inspired by my patients and their bravery, resiliency, and strength,” she says. “My patients give me purpose and a better understanding of the true meaning of life.”
Wiklund was nominated for being a pillar of strength to one patient’s family during their time of need. Her nominator writes:
“During our stay, Dani had a special gift for making us feel like we were the most important people on the floor. She was there to help us when we were exhausted. She cared for our child when we had to take our infant CPR course. She was there when we got our child’s diagnosis, and she did everything she could to comfort and console us as we processed this information. From the small things like reassuring words to the bigger things like answering our questions about every test, poke, prod, and wire that we were watching happen to our little girl, Dani did it with a smile and humble presence that made it all OK.”