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National Hispanic Heritage Month: Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital's Maria Fermin Takes Pride In Making A Difference

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - Hispanic nurses are needed now more than ever as the Latino population has been affected disproportionately by COVID.

Having a nurse of Hispanic background potentially helps patients express their symptoms or feel more at ease, and that's why CBS4 is highlighting Maria Fermin, a nurse, and the clinical manager at Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital in Hollywood.

"I remember coming into this room with a doctor to give the mom the news, we both cried," Fermin said.

It takes training and preparation to be a nurse, but it also takes a lot of heart to get through some of the toughest hours. Fermin remembers when a young boy was diagnosed with cancer.

"At the end she said you don't even know how much I appreciated that you were there with me, the fact that you cried with me I felt that I wasn't alone."

Events like that have dotted Fermin's 16-year career.

"I actually got very sick when I was 9 years old I was in ICU for a couple of months, and I was in a coma for 2 weeks."

Fermin knew she wanted to be like the nurses who helped her get better, but the road was stacked with challenges for a young Fermin who had immigrated from the Dominican Republic.

"At the beginning when I came to the United States it wasn't easy it was a very difficult task, coming into a new culture, adapting to a new culture, new people, learning a new language."

It was tough, but she stuck with her vision, and today she's become the clinical manager at the hospital.

"Every time that we get a Spanish-speaking family on the floor, I know they can always count on me."

There are other Latinx nurses like her, but we don't get to hear their stories enough.

"You see so many different Latins doing so many different things, and when you hear something that they did good like me, I feel so proud to be Latina cause I know we're making a difference."

The boy and his family she supported 7 years ago, they still keep in touch. Some connections like that end up lasting a lifetime.

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