DaVita® Stories

The Support of the Village

This week, DaVita is celebrating our Patient Care Technicians across the Village. These teammates play an important role in providing care to our patients. In celebration of this week, Tara Thomas, a patient care technician, shares what she does for the Village and the support she received from her team and the Village during a trying time.

 In 2001, I started my journey with this amazing Village. I was hired as a reuse tech and a patient care technician (PCT), this was the first time I was introduced to dialysis. I quickly fell in love with my job. In a time frame of 10 years, I got married, had a son, lost our son, have had two beautiful daughters, and moved to a different area. My team was one of the biggest support systems during the good and bad times.

It was September 19, 2016 at 6 a.m. when I received a phone call that my husband had been injured in a car accident and was being helicoptered to the closest trauma hospital, my team quickly came together, so that I could leave work immediately. I arrived at the emergency room where my manager was already there waiting for me. After what felt like hours, the surgeon came out to tell us that my husband’s back had been broken and his spinal cord was injured; he needed surgery immediately to stabilize the broken vertebrae. The surgeon also said that my husband would never walk again.

My manager stayed with me the entire time. The waiting room was flooded with DaVita teammates. After my husband’s surgery, he was transferred to Chicago, where he received extensive therapy. Thanks to support from my DaVita family, I was able to stay with him over the next three months and get help with anything I needed. In this time, my DaVita family also set up a private benefit to raise money for my family as we now needed a vehicle that could hold a wheelchair. The DaVita Village Network matched what was raised at the benefit, and we were able to purchase the vehicle we needed. I also received enough PTO from teammates across DaVita to be able to work intermittently during my husband’s recovery. During our stay at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (an hour and a half from home), my area of facility administrators made a special trip to visit us. They blessed us with a feeling of family that I will never forget.

In 2018, I started in acutes, where I began a new dialysis journey. A couple months after starting, it was determined my husband would need another back surgery. I was a little worried as I had just started a new job; however, my new team stepped up and worked with me on my schedule and supported me so that I could be with my husband and spend time with him during his recovery phase. This was yet another example of our Core Value of Team coming to life.

Being a dialysis tech was my first job, which has become my career. The benefits are endless. DaVita truly does commit to being a community first and a company second. More than two years later, my husband continues therapy. I am so blessed to say he is now walking. No matter what you are going through, never lose hope.

Tara Thomas

Tara Thomas

Tara Thomas is a certified patient care technician with 19 years hemodialysis experience. Currently, she works in the acute setting and is their preceptor. Tara' s interests include boating with her family, traveling and her dog.