High 5: Patient Thanks Nurse For Helping During Difficult Recovery

Sep 20, 2019, 11:22 AM

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Nurses play an important role in the health care profession, and oftentimes they don’t know the outcome of their care.

That’s where this story comes in.

Amanda Grow spent almost a week in a coma after a serious complication during childbirth. Recovery was extremely difficult, but a brief interaction with a nurse at Intermountain Medical Center changed her life forever.

In 2018, Grow spent six days in a medically-induced coma after a serious complication during childbirth. When she awoke, she said the foggy days filled with medical procedures were difficult.

Patient Amanda Grow thanks nurse Holli Barbera for helping her through a difficult recovery after childbirth.

Patient Amanda Grow thanks nurse Holli Barbera for helping her through a difficult recovery after childbirth.

“I was very swollen,” she said. “All my veins were so traumatized. No one could pull blood from my veins.”

Doctors needed to put in a central line to Grow’s heart.

“It was so much to take in, and I was so overwhelmed,” she said.

As Grow was headed into the procedure, she was met by a nurse with a funny-looking cap. She said that nurse changed everything.

With help from Intermountain staff, KSL TV arranged a fake meeting to surprise Holli Barbera. She said she hates being surprised, but once she realized the surprise involved Amanda Grow, things changed.

“I just in my total demoralized state said, ‘Do whatever you want; everyone has seen under my gown anyway and it doesn’t matter,'” Grow said to Barbera. “But you looked me in the eye and you said, ‘But this is your body, and I honor that.'”

“I had been a patient for what felt like so long I had forgotten that it was my body and that I was an agent in my own healing,” she added.

Grow said Barbera’s words and empathy flipped a switch in her and helped her feel empowered in her own recovery.

“This is why I got into medicine — for that humanity piece,” Barbera said. “I’m grateful that my efforts did help her with her healing and get her through that tough spot but also feel like she’s important and unique. She’s one of a kind.”

Grow said she was afraid she wouldn’t recognize Barbera “because it was a tough time and she was wearing a hair net.”

“As soon as I saw her eyes, I just knew it was her,” Grow said. “I just remember all the comfort I felt from her.”


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High 5: Patient Thanks Nurse For Helping During Difficult Recovery