During 42 years in her job, it isn't surprising that Linda Pudlo made an indelible mark on coworkers, and they on she, in the Franciscan St. Margaret Health-Hammond Imaging Services Department.
So much so that after Pudlo (who has no immediate family in the area and has been a widow since 2007), could no longer work following a stroke in December 2012, she was adopted by her former colleagues.
They make sure, along with some neighbors and other acquaintances, that Pudlo's daily needs are met, ranging from financial assistance to shopping and running other errands, to assisting with her medication, providing speech and physical therapy assistance and even putting up and taking down Christmas decorations at her home, which is down the block from the hospital.
They also show her a good time, by taking her out to eat and to the movies.
Janice Lane, supervisor of cross-sectional imaging-interventional radiology, knew Pudlo for 29 of Lane's 39 years at Franciscan St. Margaret. They remain close, with Lane being a significant contributor to Pudlo's assistance by making sure her friend maintains her medication regime.
"She just a wonderful person," Lane said, adding, "Linda gave her life to this hospital. Whatever she can't accomplish on her own, we make sure it gets done – whenever she needs it. We are always there for her." Lane said. She also credited staff members from the Human Resources Department benefits area and from the State Health Insurance Assistance Program office for providing invaluable assistance.
Mary Noy, a CT nurse coordinator who has spent 24 of her 37 years at the hospital in imaging services, added, "We all have been together for so long that we are close and dependent on each other, we are here for one another."
Mark Govert, a chief CT technician, who has been in the department eight years, said his willingness to help stems from Pudlo's treatment when he was new in the field.
"When I started, she not only taught me everything about the job, she took an interest in me and in my life. She's always been willing to help with problems."
Monica Suarez, a CT technician, Chris Ginder, an MRI technician, and department clerk Ann Blackburn, who likewise were close with Pudlo; also are credited with helping her manage tasks she cannot complete alone.
During a recent informal meeting at the hospital, Pudlo, who spent her career at Franciscan St. Margaret Health ("I grew up here") and was a senior imaging technician before she was stricken, told staff members, "I wouldn't be here if not for you guys. This is like a real family. This is home."