Dan Davis drove up to his Gulf Breeze home with his wife and son on Monday and was shocked by the lights and Christmas decorations displayed outside his home.
"I'm like, 'Why is there a tent in front of the … wait, where did all those lights come from?'" Davis said jokingly.
Davis was selected by Baptist Health Care, Gulf Power and Florida Power & Light Co. as their Healthcare Hero for this holiday season. The award, which celebrates workers who have done amazing work in the community, has been given by FPL for 10 years in Florida. This year, Gulf Power introduced it to Northwest Florida and Davis will be one of its first recipients,
"All of our health care workers are heroes," said Sarah Gatewood, communications manager for Gulf Power. "But we wanted to choose one person to do something special for and so we're happy to identify someone who's done a lot for our community in the last couple of years and do something special for them."
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Gulf Power surprised Davis by decorating the outside of his home with energy efficient Christmas decorations. They used LED lights to wrap around the trees in their front yard, hung more on top of the family's house, set up a noel sign and solar powered the cords to make them more energy efficient.
Davis did not know in advance about the decorations, which were set up in secret between his wife, Gulf Power and Baptist Health Care.
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Davis is an ECMO coordinator at Baptist Health Care. He works with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, or ECMO, equipment, which provides cardiac and respiratory support for patients. In the past two years during the COVID pandemic, Baptist Health Care moved some of its patients to ECMO because of the respiratory support that it could provide.
Davis was in charge of training the nurses in the ECMO and orientating the work schedule for the ICU nurses. If there were a lack of nurses or workers, he would come in no matter if it was a day, night or weekend shift.
What really makes Davis special is the trust and commitment he has built with his co-workers and his patients over the years, said Michael Rauch, corporate ICU director for Baptist Health.
"The trust that we have together is what made it work. I let him do his thing and he does it and I have no doubt that he's going to do it," Rauch said. "The trust that we built is what's really great with Dan. He is laid back, committed to the patients, committed to the company and our community."
Davis was thankful for the recognition.
"I try to go above and beyond when I can, but it's hard because you have family and you have this and that and other things going on at work and you've got to do what has to be done," Davis said. "But it is really nice too when out of the blue something really cool like this happens. It really makes you feel kind of special."
This article originally appeared on Pensacola News Journal: Gulf Breeze 'Healthcare Hero' surprised with Christmas lights makeover