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10. The year was 1946, when Florence Rigney first started in nursing, and so many things had not been discovered at that time. Florence is now 91 and still works as a nurse at Tacoma General Hospital and holds the honor of being the oldest practicing nurse in the United States. She still pursues her profession with gusto and continues to inspire those around her.
9. When you work together for a period of time, you become family. And family helps each other out as much as possible. Nurses Tonia Cole and Jeff Benaway, both in their 50s, had worked closely in the ICU at McLaren Flint Hospital in Michigan for three years. Suddenly, Jeff developed kidney disease and had to leave the hospital on disability. When Tonia found out, she checked to see if she was be a match for her buddy Jeff, and she was. She then gave him one of her kidneys. You’ve got to care for someone an awful lot to give up a kidney.
8. Pittsburgh nurse Julie Nixon had just gotten married last June and she and her new husband were on their way to their hotel when they spotted a commotion. A woman had passed out on a bench and didn’t have a pulse. There was no “doctor in the house,” so Julie, who works at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital, got right to doing what she does best – helping people. She gave the woman CPR and she started coming around after a few minutes. Paramedics then arrived and took the woman to the hospital. Julie is credited with saving her life. Oh, did I mention Julie was still in her wedding dress when she saved the woman’s life? Yep, she was.
7. Jessica Haas has been an RN at Richardson school system in Texas for a while, but she previously worked in an emergency room. When a woman collapsed after a parent-teacher meeting, Jessica was there and quickly checked the woman. She had hardly a trace of a pulse. She yelled for someone to grab the nearby AED, a device used for people suffering from cardiac arrest. Jessica used it and brought the woman’s vital signs back to normal. Jessica said God led her to be in the right place at the right time.
6. When Amanda Scarpinati was just 3 months old, she suffered terrible burns from a vaporizer. That was almost 40 years ago. But there were some pictures she had of a nurse at Albany Medical Center who cradled and cared for her during that painful time. And Amanda always wondered who that was who cared for her so much then. When she posted it to Facebook, she got her answer. Someone spotted the post that went viral and messaged Amanda. The woman in the photo, she said, was Susan Berger, who was 21 back then and just out of college. Amanda tracked down Susan and was able to thank her in person for her kindness and caring during that time. Says Susan: “I feel privileged to be the one to represent all the nurses who cared for her over the years.”
5. Jacintha Saldanha, a British-Indian nurse who worked at King Edward VII’s Hospital in London, committed suicide in late 2012 after she fell for a radio hoax. The hosts of an Australian radio program called the hospital impersonating the queen and Prince Charles and wanted to be transferred to the room of the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, who was there at the time. Jacintha transferred the call to the nurse looking after the duchess. Three days after the hoax aired, Jacintha hung herself, and left a note saying the radio hoax was responsible for it. A month later, the radio show was canceled.
4. As fire ravaged the AMRI Hospital in Kolkata, India, Remya and Vineetha, both 24, valiantly pulled out eight of the nine patients in the women’s ward before succumbing to the smoke and heat, and dying. They were both attempting to remove the final patient from the burning building when the tragedy struck. Hospital officials were charged in the fire and the deaths that resulted from it.
3. Here are some nurses who helped others during the two World Wars:
Nurse Mairi Chisholm and her biker friend Elsie Knocker saved thousands of men on the Belgian Western Front; British nurse Edith Cavell treated countless soldiers, no matter the nationality; Dorothie Feilding was an ambulance driver and earned several awards for her bravery; Elsa Brandstrom, known as the “Angel of Siberia,” founded a children’s home with room for more than 200 orphans; Lenah Higbee was one of the first to join the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps in 1908. She was the first female to be awarded the Navy Cross for her devotion. All of these women deserve the utmost appreciation for their service.
2. Nurse Violet Jessop was known as “Miss Unsinkable,” and for very good reason. In 1910, she was on board the RMS Olympic when it collided with the HMS Hawke. Two years later, she was aboard the Titanic when it sunk and killed more than 1,500 people. She escaped on a lifeboat. In 1916, she was on board the HMHS Britannic, a hospital ship, when it sank and killed 30 people. She suffered a severe head injury but survived and later returned to work for the White Star ship line. I’d say with all that, she was pretty darn lucky.
1. Elizabeth Webber served on the Indian front line in 1869 and nursed numerous soldiers back to health after they were hit with the deadly cholera outbreak. She was the only woman with the Bengal Fusiliers in Peshawar and ended up saving more lives than any other medical personnel. Her extreme bravery earned her the Victoria Cross, the only woman ever bestowed this highest military honor. She died 100 years ago this year, and her medal was displayed in celebration of International Women’s Day.
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