Hannah Henderson
September 2022
Hannah A
Swedish Medical Center
United States




She gave me hope that I haven't had in years, I learned from her that there are still good people out there. I left your hospital wanting to carry her same energy and attitude with me.
I am reaching out to you to tell you about my recent stay at your hospital and to discuss one of your nurses, Hannah Henderson. Before I get to Hannah, I think I need to give a little backstory. Early in the morning one day, I woke up feeling sick. I began throwing up large amounts of blood. I knew that wasn’t a good thing. I went to my local hospital. I was brought into the ER and put in a room. They drew blood, hung a fluid bag, and gave some meds to help with the vomiting. Those meds did not kick in fast enough and I ended up throwing up more blood into a garbage can next to the bed. After a while, I was taken for a CT scan and then brought back to my room in the ER and the ER doctor came in and spoke to me about what he thought was going on and told me they could not treat me there and I would have to be transferred to another facility. He spoke as if whatever was going on with me was life-threatening. After delivering his news he left to find a new facility for me. He came back a few hours later and informed me that there were either no beds or doctors available anywhere in NM, Dallas, Phoenix, or El Paso. He went on to tell me “off the record” that maybe I should leave and have someone drive me to Albuquerque and go to the ER there so they could help me. He finally came in and told me that there was a bed in Denver and that he would arrange my transportation. Planes wouldn't fly due to the weather, so I sat and sat.

I was in the ER for just shy of 30 hours. During that time, I was barely checked on. I stared at the bloody trash can in my room the entire time. It was a miserable experience. I was in the military and completed a combat tour in the middle east. After the military, I became a police officer. During my career, I’ve been in fights, crashes, shootings, and I’ve been shot. I was never scared during any of that. My episode on this day scared me. I was scared because now I have two young sons. I lay in that ER bed thinking about my kids and not knowing what was going to happen. The weather finally broke and I was on my way to the airport for my flight to Denver. During the entire plane ride, I sat and wondered what was next and how I would be treated at the next hospital. I arrived at SMC that evening and went in through the ER. A lady in the ER immediately asked my name and told the medics that I was in room X. What a huge relief that was not to have to go through that process again. We arrived at the room, and I got settled in and eventually tried to sleep. Between the lights, sounds, lab people, and feeling of being scared and not knowing what was going on inside of me there wasn’t much sleep.

That next morning, I met Hannah Henderson. Hannah brought an energy into the room that was just what I needed. She spoke kindly and made me forget about everything. She took the time to explain things to me and spoke to me like I was a friend instead of just a patient she had to deal with. Every time Hannah came into the room, she brought that same energy and a great attitude with her. She would come and let me know every time she heard any news about what was going on with me and every time, she sounded so positive about everything that my worries slowly began to fade away. She came by and told me she was going home but that she would be back in the morning.

The next morning, she came in with the same positive attitude and energy she had the day before. I could not believe that someone could be that way two days in a row. At the end of the day, I received the results of the test and the answers I need, and I was discharged. Hannah was great, got the discharge completed quickly, and even walked my mom and me out and showed us where the hole in the wall Walgreens was. She gave my mom and me a hug and said goodbye. During the drive home, my mother could not stop talking about Hannah and how positive and special she is. I agreed with her and finally got some sleep (instead of being woken up by the lab people, I was woken by the rumbling sound of her drifting out of her lane and laughing).

The things I mentioned above are probably not that big of a deal to most people. I’m sure most would say that it sounds like she was just doing her job and that is what nurses are supposed to do. I spent a lot of time in a hospital (almost 4 months) after I was shot. During that time, I only met a couple of people that were remotely positive. Sure, they treated me and did what they had to do but they did nothing to make my stay better. The biggest compliment that I can give is this. I spent 24 years of my life either in the military or in law enforcement. The last quarter of that I spent as a detective tasked with investigating all homicides, sex crimes, and crimes again children in a two-county area. I dealt with some of the lowest people on the planet during that time. Those interactions made me very bitter and closed off to anyone I don’t know. After meeting Hannah and spending those two days getting to know her something inside me changed. She gave me hope that I haven't had in years, I learned from her that there are still good people out there. I left your hospital wanting to carry her same energy and attitude with me. I want the people I encounter to leave me feeling the way I felt when I left her. Out of my entire ordeal, the only life-changing part of it was meeting her. I consider her a friend and hope that one day I can bring my sons to Denver so they can meet her. I just could not go without letting you know about my experience and let you know what kind of employee you have in Hannah.