Helping. Healing. Serving. These words describe Kathy Fatica’s life a s a wife, a nurse and a councilwoman. She’s always looking a for a new way to give back and it started with her career as a nurse.
“I’ve been a nurse for over 50 years…. ended up retiring from Erie County as public health nurse where I worked in a variety of different programs but ended with the nurse family partnership program,” said Kathy Fatica.
She met and fell in love with her husband, Phil, when he injured his leg and was a patient of hers during nursing school.
“[He] broke his leg, which ended up requiring surgery and hospitalization. I was working through orthopaedic rotation at the time as a student nurse,” said Fatica.
They had two daughters who have families of their own now.
In 2015, tragedy struck Kathy’s life.
“In 2015, shortly after my husband, Phil, had won his third term on County Council, he passed away suddenly,” she said.
The council had so much faith in Kathy, they asked her to fill Phil’s spot.
“And my first response was no way. No way. Now how. Not doing this. And then I had a chance to reflect on a lot of the projects Phil and I had been involved with,” said Fatica.
Being a go-getter, she took on the challenge.
“I was appointed by my colleagues to serve two years. I just figured everything would get done in two years that I needed to get taken care of and that didn’t happen. So two years later, through a special election, I ran, and was very, very honored to be elected to serve out the last two years of his term,” she said.
Nowadays, she’s taking a different route to serving the area with the help of a fluffy little friend, Abigail.
“I was so impressed with the work that I had seen the Red Cross in conjunction with Therapy Dogs United and thought, ‘I think this is what I’m going to do,'” said Fatica.
She has some big plans for little Abigail including “work back in the courthouse, where the therapy dogs I’ve observed working with the families that are having difficult issues even in the court systems…” she said.
Kathy’s experience taught her a lot, but there’s one thing that has stuck with her.
“When you personalize those decisions and think, ‘What would I want if this were my family, my mother, my husband, my son or daughter?’ You’ll make a decision from your heart,” she noted.