A nurse has fulfilled a promise she made to her patient four years ago to one day attend her daughter's graduation from nursing school.
Edina Habibovic, 22, graduated from Chamberlain University's College of Nursing & Public Health in Chicago in December 2020. Her mother, Sevala Habibovic, 46, died Dec. 24, 2017 after a two-year fight with breast cancer.
"I thought the medical field wasn't for me. Then, my mom got sick and I had all the experience going in and out of the hospital," Edina Habibovic told "Good Morning America."
"When my mom passed away I thought, 'Well, I want to do this. I want to make the same impression on somebody else's life,'" she said.
Sanja Josipovic, who at the time worked as a home health nurse with Northwestern Medicine in Winfield, Illinois cared for Sevala Habibovic inside her home. Both women were Bosnian refugees and they developed a friendship over six months of care.
"She was most worried about Edina because she was young and hadn't finished school yet," Josipovic told "GMA." "We developed a close bond, like sisters really. She was a powerful woman, strong-minded. She wasn't scared to die, she was just worried about her kids and husband."
Sevala Habibovic is survived by her husband Seval Habibovic and another daughter, Emina Habibovic-Bolt.
Edina Habibovic said her mother lived for being with her family and taking care of people. "When Sanja was working my mom would still try to make her something to eat, no matter how sick she was," Edina added.
When Sevala's life was coming to an end, she asked Josipovic to promise to take her place at her youngest daughter's nursing school graduation and pinning ceremony.
"That was the only thing that she was going to miss, Edina's graduation," said Josipovic, who is a mother of three herself.. "So, I said, 'I will be there.'"
Due to COVID-19 there was no graduation or pinning ceremony, which symbolizes a nursing student's completion of educational requirements.
Edina’s manager at Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital decided to host a pinning ceremony for her and have Josipovic present the pin.
"Sanja told me that my mom had her promise that she'd be there ... take her place in the pinning ceremony, and always be there for me and she has been," Edina said.
Edina and Josipovic are now caring for patients alongside one another as colleagues at Marianjoy.
Editor's note: This was originally published on Feb. 3, 2021.