Monday, July 6, 2009


     A few years ago I took care of a patient with pneumonia.  She also had a history of aggressive breast cancer.  She quickly went downhill and ended up intubated.  She was at death's door for well over a week.  Her husband spent everyday there and was so devoted to her.  In making small talk with him many of us nurses commented to him multiple times on her toenail polish color and how unique and pretty of a color it was.  It is hard to describe the color but it is a shade of coralish orange.

    When she finally got better she didn't remember any of her intubated period or realize how sick and near death she was.  Her husband told her several times how sick she had been and how us nurses had saved her life.  She kept saying that she couldn't have been....

    In doing her care we mostly did small talk or talked about how devoted her hubby was or her breast cancer etc.  But at least once a day someone mentioned her toenail polish to her.  She would just laugh and say that it was her favorite color but that she desperately needed a pedicure!

    She finally after several weeks made it out of our unit, went to the respiratory floor and got better enough to go home.  Several weeks later I came in at 7pm for my shift and there was a basket sitting on the counter with a note attached.  It was from her and her husband thanking us for our efforts in saving her and getting her well again.  The card stated that she had gotten her pedicure and that she felt that all of us nurses deserved one too so she had sent us all bottles of her favorite nail polish.  Sure enough it was the color she had had on her toes!  The most touching part of the entire thing was that the card went on to say that she had never really noted what the exact name of the color was until she was preparing the basket.  She had turned over one of the bottles to look and smiled when she saw the name.................................................LIFESAVER!!!!



danielle said...


paris said...

Oh my gosh. This post gave me chills. What a sweet and touching story. Lifesaver, indeed!

Angela B said...

Great story! I'm a nursing major myself. Applying for the Fall program and I'm a little nervous about getting in (even with the ever increasing shortage, schools have had to make cuts and up the standards. It's so unfortunate!) Just got into reading a ton of nursing blogs today and this was one of the first ones I saw. It's stories like these that get me really excited about the future :) Thanks for everything you do!

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