Retired HFC instructor writes about amazing experiences as a nurse
“HFC is an important part of our family”
A native of Wyandotte, Grande-Swiatkowski is an alumna of Wyandotte Roosevelt High School. Upon graduation, Grande-Swiatkowski attended HFC (then Henry Ford Community College), where she earned an associate degree in nursing. She transferred to Wayne State University, where she earned both her bachelor’s and master's degrees in nursing. A registered nurse, she also achieved her clinical nurse specialist certification.
The eldest of three children, she was one of three HFC siblings. Her brother, John Grande, and sister, Lynn Seitz, also attended HFC. Grande-Swiatkowski met Ken, a business major and now her husband of 42 years, while attending HFC. Together, they have three sons – Timothy, Nicholas, and Jonathon – all of whom attended HFC . Timothy and Nicholas – who are twins – were members of the Henry Ford II Honors program.
“My dad wanted me to attend the College because of its great reputation. I agreed,” said Grande-Swiatkowski. “All of my family achieved advanced degrees, and we agree HFC is a great place to start! HFC is an important part of our family.”
Giving back to HFC
A desire to help people is the reason why Grande-Swiatkowski decided to make nursing her career. She served as a nurse for 42 years. For 18½ of those years, she taught nursing at HFC. She retired in 2020.
“I worked part-time at Monroe County Community College for 15 years as a clinical instructor in nursing. A full- time position opened up at HFC and I knew I wanted to give back to the place that started it all. I was fortunate enough to be a teaching partner with one of my favorite teachers, Martha Montgomery! I spent 18½ years at HFC as a full-time nursing instructor and really enjoyed my time there,” she fondly recalled.
Witnessing little miracles
A woman of deep faith, Grande-Swiatkowski spoke about writing Little Book of Hospital Miracles. While caring for patients for more than 40 years, Grande-Swiatkowski witnessed events she believed to be miraculous. These experiences caused her to realize that the distance between the seen and unseen, between heaven and Earth, is quite thin.
“My inspiration for the book was that God has been so good to me, I wanted to do something for him. I wanted to write about the miracles I have seen in my work at the hospital,” she said. “I think the stories will be heartwarming and uplifting. They speak about caregiving and the importance of including spiritual care. They demonstrate the power of God’s presence in our lives as he works little miracles every day to show us that his love never dies.”
The power of a positive message
Some of her stories include:
- Phyllis and Albert had been married for 55 years and were virtually inseparable. As he battled advanced colon cancer, Phyllis barely left his side – until he bid her farewell in a way she never expected.
- Sally, who had a brain tumor, prayed for a miracle – and received one.
“It took several years to write the book, and once I retired, I had more time to devote to it,” said Grande-Swiatkowski. “The most challenging part was finding the time and remembering the stories. The best part of writing it was the feeling of accomplishment when I finished it! It has been received positively so far. I had a book signing at my church (St. Cyprian Church in Riverview) a couple of weeks ago with no new signings confirmed yet. I think people will receive a positive message from the book and feel good after reading it.”