In the days following the birth of my son, I suffered several complications, including a secondary hemorrhage at home, and was rushed to the ER. Numerous paramedics, doctors, nurses, and other providers worked on me during the whirlwind that ensued, and I am so fortunate that Katelyn was among them. She spoke to me reassuringly and told me that I was in good hands. She worked quickly and confidently, and she remained calm. She got blankets and repeatedly turned up the heat for me. I had lost so much blood that I could not get warm.
Knowing I had just had a baby, Katelyn asked if I needed to pump, and she ordered and sanitized the pumping parts for me and helped me with that process. She reviewed my chart and, seeing my other serious complications, said, "I'm so sorry. It's not supposed to be like this." This simple, thoughtful acknowledgment during what was a terrifying time for me has stayed in my memory. As an emergency patient, I was completely vulnerable, and as a new mother, my fears and vulnerability felt compounded, and I don't know that I can adequately convey how reassuring it was to have a nurse as capable and empathetic as Katelyn who not only worked to keep me alive but who also anticipated my needs as a postpartum mother. I was grateful for Katelyn's empathy then, and am still deeply grateful now, perhaps even more so, over a year later. Certain memories from this time are excruciatingly vivid for me, while others are a blur.
However, the bright spot in my memory throughout all of this is Katelyn. I've never experienced empathy and quality of care to the degree that I did from her. Her compassion seemed effortless. Her competence and confidence inspired both trust and relief, and without knowing it, she became my anchor.
My husband had to stay with our newborn and toddler, and I was alone in the ambulance, then alone in the ER, and then alone heading into the OR. If ever I've had an hour of need, this was it, and Katelyn was there for me. She worked on the team that kept me alive, and it's because of her and the other doctors and nurses that I could keep hold of my life and eventually go home to my family. But she also went above and beyond her responsibilities to provide support and compassion and genuine care. Her empathy, great competence, and unfailingly calm, positive demeanor greatly affected my experience as it was unfolding and have continued to influence me as I heal and recover still today.