Sarah Nielsen
September 2018
UnityPoint Health - Des Moines
Des Moines
United States




I had been fighting a bacterial infection for more than six weeks and my condition worsened, causing me severe pain and side effects due to the medications. My wife had just left for the day and I was extremely upset and emotional. I was in a really dark place and needed a friend. It was late, and I didn’t want to wake anybody, so I walked to the nurse’s station to see if my nurse could come to sit with me. She was busy, but Sarah looked at me and said, “I’m available if you’d like to talk.”

We walked back to my room and she pulled up a chair. She asked what was bothering me and I told her. She then asked me about my family and what was good in my life. When I finished talking about my family, particularly my grandsons, she said, “See, I saw you smile when you talked about the boys.” She helped me see that this health issue was temporary, and I had many things to be happy about. We only spent 15 minutes together, but this act of kindness meant the world to me.