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Nurse's dedication impressed patients, peers

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Monday, Sept. 9, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
 

As a registered nurse, Todd Cagni treated patients like family.

“He gave his all to his patients,” said Cagni's wife, Cindy Cagni. “He was a gentle, caring, loving individual who touched the heart of every person that met him.”

Todd A. Cagni of Plum died unexpectedly on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013. He was 49.

Mr. Cagni grew up in the South Hills. His father, Tom, passed away when Mr. Cagni was 16, and his mother, Marlene Cagni, had Parkinson's disease. Seeing his loved ones fall ill inspired Mr. Cagni to pursue a career in nursing, his wife said.

He received his bachelor's degree from Waynesburg University and worked in various health care facilities in Allegheny County for 24 years, including UPMC Mercy and St. Clair Hospital. For the past five years, he worked in Canterbury Skilled Nursing facility in Lawrenceville as a nurse supervisor, where he went out of his way to help his fellow nurses with everyday tasks, his wife said.

Mr. Cagni formed close friendships with many of his patients, his wife said. He stayed in touch with patients' family members, often taking their phone calls at home to offer emotional support. He purchased clothing for patients he knew did not have family members to care for them.

“He was a giving, good-hearted person,” Cindy Cagni said. “He was a hard worker.”

Mr. Cagni's exemplary work as a nurse was recognized this year, when Judy Hon, director of nursing at Canterbury, nominated him for UPMC's “Cameo of Caring” award.

“It's one of the highest honors you can receive,” Cindy Cagni said.

Though Mr. Cagni cannot attend the award gala in November to accept the honor, his stepdaughter, Krysta Pampena of North Huntingdon, said his family has received an outpouring of support from former patients who remember his work ethic.

“Patients he had years ago remember his name and face,” Pampena said. “All he talked about were his patients.”

In addition to his wife and stepdaughter, Mr. Cagni is survived by his children, Brianna, Zachary, Gabriella and Nicholas Cagni; stepdaughter, Ashley Pampena; brother, Kevin; and sisters, Candace, Traci and Kim.

Visitors will be received from 2 to 6 p.m. Monday, followed by a blessing service, in Gene H. Corl Inc. Funeral Chapel and Cremation Services of Monroeville, 4335 Northern Pike.

Nicole Chynoweth is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-850-2862 or nchynoweth@tribweb.com.

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