Caring nurses help patient battle COVID - and fear
To begin, I was admitted to Beebe in late December with a severe case of COVID and double pneumonia. I was scared. I was having problems breathing, and at one point during my hospitalization, I couldn’t even roll over without gasping for air. I am grateful for every lifesaving measure my entire care team took, but I’m writing this note today to thank three nurses whom I will never forget. Each of them did little things (that were actually big things) in providing me with truly excellent care.
After several really rough days battling COVID and still hospitalized, I received a horrifying call from my husband, Rob. Our 10-month-old son Ollie had, for unknown reasons, stopped breathing. Rob told me that he had performed CPR and called 911. The emergency medics had arrived, revived Ollie, and were bringing him to Beebe’s Emergency Department. I was beyond terrified. I felt incredibly helpless, and I desperately wanted to get to my son.
I shared my panic with nurse Beth Owens, and her compassion was beyond belief. She is a mother of two young children herself, so I think she could literally feel my pain. Her care and true empathy for me touched my heart. She even went so far as to leave me a note in case I was discharged while she was off shift. The note read, “Ariane, I am thinking of you and praying for your family and sweet baby Oliver. Thank you for letting me take care of you. Nurse Beth.” And I am happy to reply back to her with this note – thank you, Beth.
Nurse Sharon Fay Lane was also incredible. She calmed me with her sweet nature, and respectfully asked me if she could share a prayer website after I mentioned God. We sat together and listened to a beautiful song that had to do with letting go and giving to God. She hugged me and even prayed with me. I will never forget the feeling of comfort she gave me. Thank you, Fay.
The third healthcare hero I would like to acknowledge is Lauren Carter. Lauren’s care was extraordinary because I have very long hair. And, because my hair had not been any kind of priority for five or six days, it had become badly matted. So matted, in fact, that it bordered on being painful. I had begun asking everyone I saw to just shave my head, so I didn’t have to give my hair another thought. I even begged the poor guy who wheeled me around to get a CAT scan to shave my head. Bless him for his patience with me.
Don’t get me wrong; I was grateful to be alive, but I just didn’t care about my hair anymore. I only wanted to get to my baby.
Lauren had a sweet and friendly nature, and I had really come to like her. However, when I asked Lauren to shave my head, she said, “No.” But she followed that with, “I will fix it.” Then, this unselfish, incredible person took a bottle of conditioner and started to work on untangling my hair. While she worked on that, I asked her to tell me about her life – mostly so I would stop thinking about mine – and she did! I learned so much about this incredible young woman. She calmed and comforted me, and she stayed past her shift to finish the untangling. Lauren literally saved my hair out of sheer kindness. She is an amazing woman with a very bright future ahead of her. She is more than a nurse, or even a superhero. She is a real-life angel. Thank you so much, Lauren.
It goes without saying that this whole experience has been life-changing for my entire family. Ollie was transferred to Nemours Children’s Health and is doing well, and I just wanted to let these hero nurses know I am truly grateful for their excellent care.