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Lauren Jones, Nu’20

“This past summer I spent working as a patient care tech in a hospital, where I floated between a few different floors. One day I was in the ICU and a patient had recently been extubated, and I went into her room with the nurse to check on her. The patient was saying a lot of things that didn’t make sense, but she kept referring to the nurse and me as her ‘guardian angels.’

The next day I was working on a Medical-Surgical floor and I went into her room to help with the transfer. She immediately recognized me and said ‘Lauren, my guardian angel.’ A few minutes later she called me in to the room and kept yelling at me and saying ‘my legs don’t work, my legs don’t work.’

I was skeptical of her claim because she had full range of motion and muscle strength in her legs. The nurse suggested that maybe someone in the ICU had told her to hit the call bell if she needed to get up, and in her disoriented state she thought that meant that her legs weren’t working right. 

I questioned her and said, ‘Are you sure your legs don’t work? They seemed to be working pretty well just a few minutes ago.’

I called the nurse in the room, and we said: ‘Why don’t we try to see if your legs work.’

We got her to sit on the edge of the bed and asked her to stand up. She stood up and took a couple of steps and shouted ‘You made my legs work! My guardian angels!’

The look of sheer joy on her face was priceless, and I couldn’t help but be thankful it was my job to be present in moments like these.”

To submit your own story, visit: www.nursing.upenn.edu/humans.