Nurse with heart of gold recognized for going above duties
Melissa Hughston is a night nurse with All About Kids Home Health. Her job is to care for a little angel named Aali who's disabled. And while her work is worthy of an honor in and of itself, it's Melissa's kindness towards Aali TMs entire family that FNB Insurance and Action 4 News help to recognize on Pay it 4Ward. Aali TMs grandmother, Patricia Aranda, nominated Melissa to be this week TMs recipient. "Without Melissa being here at night I would have to stay up watching Aali," Patricia said. But Melissa is more than a special caregiver, Patricia calls her an angel on earth. "It meant a lot because she could have used that money on her own kids and she let me have it for mine," she said while crying. Melissa made her family's Christmas come true with gift cards for the children to purchase gifts. "There really wasn't going to be anything under the Christmas tree, which is hard because my 12-year-old still believes in Santa," Patricia said. Her granddaughter's medical machines nearly had power cut off in the home due to family financial woes. Melissa stepped in to help without thinking twice. "To Pay it 4Ward to Melissa means a lot because she went out of her way to help me and my family," Patricia said. To pull off the Pay it 4Ward surprise, Melissa is called in early to work at Aali TMs San Benito area home on Thursday afternoon. "Surprise!" Patricia said to Melissa as she walked into the room. "What did you do Patty?" Melissa asked after seeing a room full of people, including Action 4 News. Patricia then shared with her what she means to the entire family. "You have helped me so much Melissa and you know it," she said. "To go above and beyond the call of duty to help me make ends meet means so much. On behalf of FNB Insurance and Action 4 News, I want to Pay it 4Ward. $100, $200, $300, $400. Thank you so much. It means everything to me." It's all a little too much for the nurse with a golden heart. "I just do it because I want to," Melissa said. "I didn't expect this." Melissa believes her desire to help comes from her own experiences raising twin teenage boys who are also disabled. "I guess I've been there," she explained. "I've been there with my own kids. I know it's really hard when you're in a situation like this. Nobody gets it." FNB Insurance Spokesperson Karen Gonzalez shares why the nurse's nomination is so deserving. "It takes a really special person to do the kind of thing that you do to take care of others, but it's what you do when you're off duty and how you've gone above and beyond for this family, again and again, that makes us very happy to Pay it 4Ward to you," Karen said. Patricia doesn't believe she could ever truly repay Melissa, but she calls the Action 4 News program one heck of a start. Melissa plans to use her $400 Pay it 4Ward prize to help pay for student loans.