Nurse fulfills promise to dying patient to be at daughter's nursing school graduation

NICOLE PELLETIERE
·2 min read

A nurse has fulfilled a promise she made to her patient four years ago to one day attend her daughter's graduation from nursing school.

Edina Habibovic, 22, graduated from Chamberlain University's College of Nursing & Public Health in Chicago in December 2020. Her mother, Sevala Habibovic, 46, died Dec. 24, 2017 after a two-year fight with breast cancer.

"I thought the medical field wasn't for me. Then, my mom got sick and I had all the experience going in and out of the hospital," Edina Habibovic told "Good Morning America."

"When my mom passed away I thought, 'Well, I want to do this. I want to make the same impression on somebody else's life,'" she said.

PHOTO: Edina Habibovic, 22, graduated from Chamberlain University's College of Nursing & Public Health in Chicago, in December 2020. Her mother, Sevala Habibovic, 46, died in 2017 from breast cancer. Here, Edina poses beside her mom in an undated photo. (Northwestern Medicine)
PHOTO: Edina Habibovic, 22, graduated from Chamberlain University's College of Nursing & Public Health in Chicago, in December 2020. Her mother, Sevala Habibovic, 46, died in 2017 from breast cancer. Here, Edina poses beside her mom in an undated photo. (Northwestern Medicine)

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Sanja Josipovic, who at the time worked as a home health nurse with Northwestern Medicine in Winfield, Illinois cared for Sevala Habibovic inside her home. Both women were Bosnian refugees and they developed a friendship over six months of care.

PHOTO: Edina Habibovic, 22, attends her pinning ceremony at Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital in Illinois. Nurse Sanja Josipovic presented her with her pin after Edina's mother, Sevala Habibovic, 46, died in 2017 after a two-year fight with breast cancer. (Northwestern Medicine)
PHOTO: Edina Habibovic, 22, attends her pinning ceremony at Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital in Illinois. Nurse Sanja Josipovic presented her with her pin after Edina's mother, Sevala Habibovic, 46, died in 2017 after a two-year fight with breast cancer. (Northwestern Medicine)
PHOTO: Sevala Habibovic, 46, died Dec. 24, 2017 after a two-year fight with breast cancer. Here, Sevala is photographed with her husband, Seval Habibovic, in an undated photo. (Northwestern Medicine)
PHOTO: Sevala Habibovic, 46, died Dec. 24, 2017 after a two-year fight with breast cancer. Here, Sevala is photographed with her husband, Seval Habibovic, in an undated photo. (Northwestern Medicine)

"She was most worried about Edina because she was young and hadn't finished school yet," Josipovic told "GMA." "We developed a close bond, like sisters really. She was a powerful woman, strong-minded. She wasn't scared to die, she was just worried about her kids and husband."

PHOTO: Sevala Habibovic, 46, died Dec. 24, 2017 after a two-year fight with breast cancer. Sevala is survived by her husband Seval Habibovic and two daughters, Emina Habibovic-Bolt and Edina Habibovic. Here, Sevala is photographed with her daughters. (Northwestern Medicine)
PHOTO: Sevala Habibovic, 46, died Dec. 24, 2017 after a two-year fight with breast cancer. Sevala is survived by her husband Seval Habibovic and two daughters, Emina Habibovic-Bolt and Edina Habibovic. Here, Sevala is photographed with her daughters. (Northwestern Medicine)

Sevala Habibovic is survived by her husband Seval Habibovic and another daughter, Emina Habibovic-Bolt.

Edina Habibovic said her mother lived for being with her family and taking care of people. "When Sanja was working my mom would still try to make her something to eat, no matter how sick she was," Edina added.

PHOTO: Sevala Habibovic, 46, died Dec. 24, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois, after a two-year fight with breast cancer. Here, Sevala is photographed with her husband, Seval Habibovic, in an undated photo. (Northwestern Medicine)
PHOTO: Sevala Habibovic, 46, died Dec. 24, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois, after a two-year fight with breast cancer. Here, Sevala is photographed with her husband, Seval Habibovic, in an undated photo. (Northwestern Medicine)
PHOTO: Sevala Habibovic, 46, of Chicago, Illinois, died Dec. 24, 2017 after a two-year fight with breast cancer. Before her death, she asked her home health nurse, Sanja Josipovic, to promise to attend her daughter's graduation from nursing school. (Northwestern Medicine)
PHOTO: Sevala Habibovic, 46, of Chicago, Illinois, died Dec. 24, 2017 after a two-year fight with breast cancer. Before her death, she asked her home health nurse, Sanja Josipovic, to promise to attend her daughter's graduation from nursing school. (Northwestern Medicine)

When Sevala's life was coming to an end, she asked Josipovic to promise to take her place at her youngest daughter's nursing school graduation and pinning ceremony.

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PHOTO: Edina Habibovic, 22, attends her own pinning ceremony at Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital in DuPage County, Illinois, after graduating from nursing school.  (Northwestern Medicine)
PHOTO: Edina Habibovic, 22, attends her own pinning ceremony at Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital in DuPage County, Illinois, after graduating from nursing school. (Northwestern Medicine)
PHOTO:  Sevala Habibovic, 46, died Dec. 24, 2017 after a two-year fight with breast cancer. Sevala is survived by her husband Seval Habibovic and two daughters, Emina Habibovic-Bolt and Edina Habibovic. Here, Sevala is photographed with her daughters. (Northwestern Medicine)
PHOTO: Sevala Habibovic, 46, died Dec. 24, 2017 after a two-year fight with breast cancer. Sevala is survived by her husband Seval Habibovic and two daughters, Emina Habibovic-Bolt and Edina Habibovic. Here, Sevala is photographed with her daughters. (Northwestern Medicine)

"That was the only thing that she was going to miss, Edina's graduation," said Josipovic, who is a mother of three herself.. "So, I said, 'I will be there.'"

Due to COVID-19 there was no graduation or pinning ceremony, which symbolizes a nursing student's completion of educational requirements.

PHOTO: Edina Habibovic, 22, hugs Sanja Josipovic at her own pinning ceremony at Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital in DuPage County, Illinois, after graduating from nursing school. (Northwestern Medicine)
PHOTO: Edina Habibovic, 22, hugs Sanja Josipovic at her own pinning ceremony at Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital in DuPage County, Illinois, after graduating from nursing school. (Northwestern Medicine)

Edina’s manager at Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital decided to host a pinning ceremony for her and have Josipovic present the pin.

"Sanja told me that my mom had her promise that she'd be there ... take her place in the pinning ceremony, and always be there for me and she has been," Edina said.

PHOTO: Edina Habibovic, 22, attends her pinning ceremony at Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital in Illinois. Nurse Sanja Josipovic presented her with her pin after Edina's mother, Sevala Habibovic, 46, died in 2017 after a two-year fight with breast cancer. (Northwestern Medicine)
PHOTO: Edina Habibovic, 22, attends her pinning ceremony at Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital in Illinois. Nurse Sanja Josipovic presented her with her pin after Edina's mother, Sevala Habibovic, 46, died in 2017 after a two-year fight with breast cancer. (Northwestern Medicine)

Edina and Josipovic are now caring for patients alongside one another as colleagues at Marianjoy.

Nurse fulfills promise to dying patient to be at daughter's nursing school graduation originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com