BRONX TIMES REPORTER, J 6 AN. 29-FEB. 4, 2021
Lauren with her brother Robert, sister Maddie and mom Daisy Photos courtesy of Donna Davis
Terminally ill Bronx
client and nurse
BY JASON COHEN
Lauren Wechsler was born with a
terminal illness called craniosynostosis
that impacts her neurological
abilities and was not expected to live
beyond age 25.
However, on Jan. 6, the 34-year-old
had a lifelong dream fulfi lled when
nurses from the nonprofi t Bayada
Home Health Care, held a surprise
ceremony with her parents Norman
Wechsler and Daisy Concepcion
where they presented Wechsler
with an honorary nursing degree,
complete with a certifi cate, a pair of
scrubs and other goodies she’d need
for her “nursing duties.”
Her primary nurse, Donna Davis,
was also honored with a hero award
for her compassionate and excellent
care toward Wechsler and to thank
her for all that she has done for the
family, including helping her battle
and overcome COVID-19. The award
is part of Bayada’s Hero Program,
which allows the company to recognize
and reward those who exceed
the highest standards of quality care
and work ethic.
Wechsler’s mother and father
spoke with the Bronx Times about
the emotional day.
“It was very moving and touching,”
Wechsler said. “I think it was a
very lovely gesture on behalf of Bayada
to give Lauren a little love.”
Wechsler explained that his
daughter is a fi ghter. She has endured
numerous surgeries that
brought her near death and even battled
COVID-19 in March.
He noted that only two people with
this condition have made it to age 34.
She’s getting weaker and can’t sustain
any more procedures.
“It’s the fabulous care that she has
gotten from the nurses and doctors
that have kept her alive,” he stated.
“They assured us when she was born
she would never make it this long.”
According to Wechsler, his daughter
is sweet, kind, caring, loves to
write, read and can use computers.
For years, it was her dream to become
a nurse from Columbia University—
and now he is glad it came
“Lauren is an angel on earth,” he
Concepcion shared his sentiments.
Even though her daughter
often has problems with walking,
eating, breathing and is in pain, she
always greets people with a smile,
hugs them and makes them feel welcome.
She expressed gratitude to the
nurses who have done so much for
“It’s a miracle she has survived,”
Concepcion said. “It’s a wonderful
celebration of her life. The care she
has received is amazing.”
Davis, who has been a nurse for 38
years, began taking care of Wechsler
in 2012 and in 2017 joined Bayada.
She explained she was assigned to
her because of her background in
Over the years Davis has become
a part of her family.
The ceremony was quite special
for both of them and Wechsler will
always be important to her.
“A big part of what I do is supporting
the patient and the family,” she
explained. “She’s just one of the rarities
and she’s done extremely well.”
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