CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — As we celebrate Women’s History Month, our Remarkable Women Finalists show us so much drive, ambition and heart.
Jessica Collins is another example of ladies leading the way. She is a nurse, mother to four children ages 13, 8, 6 and 3 years old, business owner and U.S. Navy wife.
Need we say more? Well, amazingly, she says although every day of her life she’s juggling a lot, she truly wishes she could do more.
“I’m just an average woman out here trying to fight against everything every day that’s standing against me you know,” said Collins. “We’re all going through so much.”
True, the last year has been a lot for everyone. And while the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many companies to endure layoffs and some to even close, Collins has fought hard to keep all of her workers employed and clients serviced because Patients Choice Home Healthcare of Chesapeake is more than a business to her.
Bringing skilled nursing to underserved communities was a dream that she and her mother birthed. And PCHH was one of the first home health care agencies in our area to take care of COVID-19 patients when overtaxed hospitals needed help.
In addition to skilled services, the agency provides long-term care and support to the elderly and disabled residents in our community. It hasn’t been easy.
“In April my Mom was diagnosed,” said Collins. “She went to the doctor. She wasn’t feeling well.”
Not due to COVID-19. The doctors found cancer. It was stage 4 and they gave her mother four months to live. Jessica’s husband was deployed when they learned the news but returned shortly before her mother passed away August 19.
“I became a nurse because of her,” said Collins. “And I want to honor her. And the best way I can do that is to try and give back in any way that I can. She was always above and beyond and she made sure she brought that to me, and without her it’s hard. My dad even without her he continues to encourage me.”
In fact, it was her father who after losing one amazing woman decided to enter the remarkable woman they raised into WAVY-TV 10’s contest online.
“I was watching a thing on WAVY-TV and I just got this hair brain idea to write,” said Steve Morgan. “I had no idea we’d be even this far. I’m proud of her. I’m proud of everything she’s done. I’m proud of how her mother raised her and I would like to think I had something to do with that. She also juggles four kids and now virtual learning, some at home, and hockey to take them to. Husband is in the Navy and she still tries to balance things. I’m just so proud of her. She’s remarkable as far as I’m concerned. Truly passionate and caring.”
Without her partner in business by her side, Collins says she feels fortunate to still be surrounded by love. Since her mother’s passing, she’s even been able to increase their staff and patients.
“Our patients are first,” said Collins. “They’re number one and we do whatever we can to make sure we’re meeting their needs to provide quality service for people, to care about what their needs really are, not so much about the monetary gain of it all.”
Collins says she still hopes to create a program in the future to provide more resources to underserved populations including their own patients. She believes that this is what she’s here to do. And she told us “if I’m not making a difference what is it all for”.
We thank her for using a passion to go above and beyond, that was born out of the pain, to transform lives.