A pediatric nurse in the intensive care unit at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Debbie Dechant who also works in the neo natal unit at UCLA said one of the greatest compliments she has received was a parent hugging her and not wanting to let go.
Before her commitment to being a nurse Debbie grew up pursuing her appreciation for dance, art and improv.
“I tried out for Second City (Improv club) in Chicago, but I’m a nurse, I said no.”
“Parents leave their children with me, in my care, they trust me when their children are at their sickest.”
The oldest of 5 siblings one can say Debbie knows a thing or two about being compassionate. The Kansas native takes pride in her work and takes a sigh before telling us what her job means to her.
“I have a passion for what I do. There is something about a child’s laughter and a child’s trust.”
The gravitas of her job does not allow for her to be anything other than patient. Debbie finds balance and maintains her calm demeanor by taking every opportunity to get outdoors to cycle or head indoor to spin.
“Even if I’m on call I put my phone on the bike and if it rings I go.”
For Debbie classes are too short so she makes sure she indulges in one of her other loves, outdoor cycling.
She is preparing for her annual bike ride across the state of Iowa. Organized by her cycling friends while living in Chicago in 1998 it has become a tradition.
Having always been an athlete Debbie knows what her limits are and despite 2 operations on her left leg and 7 on her right she continues to beat the odds. Her fight is strong.
“Multiple people and (medical) professionals tell me I shouldn’t do this or that because of my knees, because of that it makes me push harder.”
Working out is her release and her advice to all riders is simple. Climb the hill.
“I’ve climbed a lot of hills, I’ve experienced a lot of climbs in my life. No matter the ride, I ride all out every ride. Form, endurance, power. If you’re not going to ride all out, don’t ride.”
Advice to new heated indoor cyclists:
Slow down, just keep the beat, don’t try to kill it, it will come. It takes a long time to kill it, don’t get discouraged.