Thrive by IU Health

June 01, 2021

Many hearts hurting for tragic death of intensive care worker

IU Health University Hospital

Many hearts hurting for tragic death of intensive care worker

She always wanted to work in a hospital and loved her job at IU Health, in part because of her coworkers. Now, those coworkers are mourning the loss of Qua Dasia Keone “Dasia” Hill.

By IU Health Senior Journalist T.J. Banes,

Her grandmother talked to her just hours before it happened. She is still in shock that her life is forever changed by the tragic loss.

“She was granny’s ray of sunshine,” said Hannah Hill. “She had her granny’s heart and now my heart is heavy,” said Hill.

It was just after midnight on June 26th when Qua Dasia Keone “Dasia” Hill, 24, was a passenger in a Kia Optima that lost control, struck a barrier, spun into a ditch and struck a tree. News reports said the accident happened in Marion County along I-465 near the Ditch Road overpass.

Word traveled quickly throughout the medical intensive care unit at IU Health University Hospital where Hill worked as a hospital tech.

“Her greatest joy was working at IU Health and we all knew it because she was always happy at work,” said Medical Social Worker Sarah Hale. Like Hill’s grandmother, she also called Dasia “a ray of sunshine.”

Hannah Hill said her granddaughter always dreamed of working at a hospital and had set a goal to become a gynecologist. She graduated from Arsenal Technical High School and was planning to begin college courses while she worked, said her grandmother.

Nurse Jane Wood remembers how kind Dasia was to elderly patients. “She always greeted them by name and made them feel special,” said Wood.

Nurse Dasia with coworkers

“Dasia could become friends with anyone,” said another nurse Karlie Vandagrifft. “When she met a co-worker, a patient, or their family member, she would take interest in who they were as a person,” said Vandagrifft. “Dasia's happiness was infectious. Dasia had a great empathy for our patients and a deep curiosity. Dasia was always seeking opportunities to learn and better herself. During downtime she would be on the computer looking into whatever sparked her interest. She had so many aspirations. She was so bubbly, charming, and caring. There almost always was a smile on her face. When we met, I was about to get married and she started calling me by my married name. Every time I saw her, she would greet me with ‘Mrs. Scardine’ and a smile on her face.”

Other co-workers remember those special terms of endearment that Dasia offered – making everyone feel special.

“She was the tech who trained me when I first arrived at University Hospital. She was so welcoming and taught me with patience. She always called people ‘babe’ or ‘honey’ to show that you mattered to her,” said Ava Davidson. “Dasia was always interested in learning the “why” behind everything we did. She wanted to understand the diseases processes and the interventions and always had great questions. Her constant dedication to learning more and providing better care was motivational,” said nurse Brandie Kopsas-Kingsley.

Hannah Hill said arrangements are pending for her granddaughter. She added that she is honored to know that Dasia made such a lasting impression on her family, friends, and co-workers.

“I will always think of her smile when she entered a room,” said nurse Melissa Coxey. She fondly called Dasia “Dayy DAE” and Dasia called her “Mel Mel.”

Like others, Coxey describes Hill as one of the sweetest and kindest people she’s ever met.

“She loved her coworkers and friends, as they all loved her. She always saw the good in people. I loved working with this wonderful girl. She was always part of the team,” said Coxey. She remembers Hill running out to get lunch for her coworkers at Qdoba and bringing back kids meals. “I worked a lot of days with her, especially when I was a charge nurse. It was a pleasure sitting there at the desk with her, as she was such a positive person. That positivity would rub off on everyone around. She was so cute and funny. Her cute little laugh was infectious,” said Coxey.

“I am terribly heartbroken over this tragedy. I will miss her hugs in the morning. I will miss her sweet presence. She was a very real person with real problems just like anyone else. Despite all this, she was determined to push forward. She was truly sincere in all that she did,” said Coxey. “She loved caring for patients and I know the patients loved her too. She will be truly missed. She was not only my coworker, but also a good friend. She will be forever in my heart. I will treasure the time well spent with this beautiful lady. I pray for her family and loved ones as they have lost a wonderful girl. May her soul rest peacefully in the arms of God.”

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Critical Care

Critical care (also called intensive care) is for patients who need life support, around-the-clock care and other advanced care during serious illness or traumatic injury.