Waukesha nurse receives Health Care Hero Award for actions following parade tragedy

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WAUKESHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Roughly ten months following the Christmas parade tragedy that shocked the Waukesha community and beyond on Nov. 21, 2021, Sherry Berg still remembers the day clearly.

"I was with my kids watching the parade," said Berg, a registered nurse working at ProHealth Waukesha Memorial Hospital. "Next thing I knew, there was a car coming toward us."

The vehicle raced through the parade route, killing six and injuring more than 60 others. Darrell Brooks, the man accused of driving the SUV, is scheduled to go to trial in Oct.

"I grabbed my kids, I threw them to my sister and I knew they were safe," said Berg. "I said 'I have to go. I have to go to work.'"

Without a second thought, Berg jumped into action, providing care for anyone she could at the scene before hitching a ride with an ambulance back to the hospital to join her team of healthcare providers.

"I did CPR in the street on a woman that was struck," Berg said. "That was the ambulance I came in on."

Berg says she doesn't consider herself a hero. Instead, she chooses to praise her teammates who assisted in the care for victims that day.

"It was a community and all of the organizations that provide healthcare in this area, everybody stepped up that day," Berg said. "I would consider my team a team of heroes."

Although she won't refer to herself as a hero, her heroic actions do the talking. On Thursday, the team who she speaks so highly of joined her outside the hospital's emergency department as she received the 2022 Health Care Hero Award from Congressman Bryan Steil of Wisconsin's 1st District.

"In the most challenging of times, we also see the people that step up to the plate to do the right thing," Rep. Steil said. "Sherry represents, really, the work of all of those people who stepped up to serve our community during a challenging time."

After a few difficult years including a pandemic and the parade tragedy, Berg says she is proud to provide the Waukesha County community she grew up in with care and says it's something she will continue to do.

"Nursing has always been my calling, so I knew this is where I'll be," Berg said. "We have to keep providing care to our community."

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