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Gina Domingo, RN, CRRN—who has spent her 30-year career caring for patients suffering from traumatic brain injuries—just received the Tracy Morgan Award for Excellence in Rehabilitation Nursing.

To commemorate his recovery from coma and brain injuries resulting from a devastating multi-vehicle collision on the New Jersey Turnpike in 2014, Morgan performs live on-stage and greets his former care team before presenting the award. Dr. Brian Greenwald, MD, walks up, and Morgan says, “that’s my brain doctor!” and proceeds to greet the nurses from his brain trauma unit with hugs. Of Domingo, the latest award-winner, Morgan declared, “She said, ‘Everything’s gonna be alright,’ he said. “She would take me outside and read and let me be outside in the air. I was so angry, I was so scared.”

Designed to honor nurses exhibiting “the highest levels of skills and compassion,” Morgan has given the award to nurses who treated his during his recuperation at the JFK Rehabilitation Institute in Edison, New Jersey. Gina Domingo, a graduate of the University of San Tomas, Philippines, is the third nurse from the traumatic brain injuries unit to receive the award.

Domingo commented, “Often, a patient will return to visit and it’s always exciting and memorable to see them living the life they want and doing all they can,” she said. “So to see Tracy on stage … making everyone laugh. To see that kind of recovery in any of our patients is what motivates us every day.”

Stand-up comedian Tracy Morgan, who rose to nationwide fame during his seven seasons on Saturday Night Live and later in a starring role on the award-winning television series “30 Rock,” has carried on his stand-up comedy career since his recovery. When he is on tour, the audiences often include recovering patients, and Morgan has been known to meet with them after his performances. The fortitude he displayed during his recuperation, and his comeback as a performer has made him an inspiration to other patients struggling to recuperate from brain injuries. This year’s award winner Domingo notes, “When you work with people with brain injuries, often they cannot communicate verbally. Sometimes they can’t move.  The work is challenging. But when you can contribute to someone’s recovery, it’s just so rewarding.”

Visit this page for further details on the latest Tracy Morgan award.

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