Employee Highlights

Otilia “Santa” Duque | Registered Nurse

Otilia “Santa” Duque is an outstanding nurse that has worked at Medina Valley Health and Rehab for twenty years on our overnight shift. Early one morning, close to 5:00am, Santa became a hero to a sweet young couple traveling to San Antonio. The woman was in labor and her husband realized that they would not make it to a hospital. He pulled into the facility seeking assistance and Santa was able to answer his prayers.

“I heard the woman screaming in pain and ran out to help,” Duque said. “I kept thinking, what am I going to do for this lady, I’ve never delivered a baby before.” Santa was hoping all she would have to do was reassure the mother that help was on the way. However, the baby had other plans.  “It happened so fast, I never thought the baby was going to come before the ambulance arrived,” said Duque.

Then, right before their eyes, the mother began to push! Santa knew she was in distress and her hyperventilating was not helping.  Santa coached the mother threw deep breathing and “Before I knew it, the baby’s head was in the palm of my hand, it was amazing.”

Santa held the baby as the father unwrapped the umbilical cord. “That’s when we heard the baby cry for the first time and knew everything was going to be ok,” said Santa.

Santa went on to say she felt a deep connection to the little girl but in the excitement, didn’t even get the little girl’s name.  “I received training years ago in school but actually helping to deliver a baby like that is unique and nothing short of a miracle.”  This was Santa’s first time delivering a baby and she is coming up on her twenty-year anniversary at Medina Valley Health and Rehabilitation Center.

Grace Hysell | Registered Nurse

Grace Hysell is a registered nurse that has worked for Medina Valley for the past thirty years! While serving the same facility for 30 years speaks to her dedication and commitment, it doesn’t tell you everything you need to know about Grace. During the snow storm in February 2021, Grace managed to make it to work every day. Upon her return home from work one morning, she was unable to open the gate at the front of her driveway because it was frozen solid. Rather than use a frozen gate as a good option to miss work, Grace climbed over the gate and walked a half mile to her home. After eating and sleeping, she walked the half mile back down her driveway to find the gate was still frozen solid. Our amazing Grace climbed over the gate again to reach her vehicle to make the journey back to work.

Cascade Health Services is extremely proud of our employees.  Their dedication to and love for our residents is what makes Medina Valley and Cibolo Creek wonderful places to live and to rehabilitate.