This week's high fives go to our amazing people at Langley Memorial and Royal Columbian Hospitals.
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For Langley Memorial Hospital
I felt that it was fitting that at the 10-year anniversary of my near-death experience that I honour the people who truly saved my life. When I was 18-years-old, I had my wisdom teeth out, it seemed to take the normal course and within several days I was back playing soccer. However, after a couple of weeks I was in more and more pain. Several different walk-in clinics tried stronger and stronger pain medication to no avail. At this point, I had developed what I referred to as a random black eye. I eventually found myself in the Emergency Room at Langley Memorial Hospital. They believed that incidentally I had a sinus infection, which was treated with IV antibiotics twice a day.
It was in Medical Daycare at Langley Memorial Hospital during one of these appointments that a nurse spoke up and saved my life. I remember being so sick, and hurting so badly I couldn’t move. So I would sit staring at the floor through my appointments, my one eye now almost swollen shut, waiting for my IV infusion to be complete. The nurse asked if I was okay, I mumbled some kind of a placation, but she looked at me as if really seeing me, and ignored my comment of “yes I’m fine”. She called in the doctor, who saw me and immediately admitted me. They were pushing morphine, and racing me to CT.
The CT showed I had periorbital cellulitis and an empyema in my sinuses. The doctors told my parents that I would die, or I would at the very least lose the eye. My parents were frantic, after weeks of feeling helpless, knowing something was wrong they had their suspicions confirmed. Fortunately, I made it through the whole experience with both eyes intact.
I truly feel that it was the nursing staff at Langley Memorial Hospital who saved my life when I was 18. They saw how sick I was, and they knew something was wrong. They advocated for me when no one else had.
Ten years later, I have been a Surgical RN for four years. I was inspired to pursue nursing by all of the nurses I encountered during my stay at LMH – from Medical Daycare, to a brief stay on Paeds, and then on to the medical ward. It was during this hospitalization that I experienced the immense capability of nurses – the critical thinking, compassion and advocacy.
Thank you to the nurses at Langley Memorial. You make me so incredibly proud to be able to call myself a nurse too.