Intensive Care Nurses

After contracting a deadly German strain of the E. coli virus in May 2011, John Meyer spent an entire month in Milford Regional’s intensive care unit (ICU). He and his wife, Loreen, say during this time, a team of intensive care nurses fought right beside him and helped save his life.

“I think they are the unsung heroes in this. We wouldn’t be sitting here today if it wasn’t for those nurses,” says Loreen, adding that the nurses who monitored John constantly, were able to detect subtle differences in John’s health and react to them immediately. “That’s a savvy group of people,” she adds.

John was completely dependent on the nurses for everything during his hospital stay, and he recalls their constant presence. “When I was awake, they were always talking to me,” he says.   

Loreen remembers the nurses’ constant vigilance. “They were so good at stimulating him and engaging him in conversations and really pushing him to get out of bed,” she says. “The minute that they recognized he could put his legs over the side of the bed, they got him moving as quickly as possible.” She remembers one or two nurses, in particular, who inspired him to walk outside the room to encounter different stimuli, which helped build his strength as well as maintain his positive attitude.

Aside from the exceptional care they provided, Loreen was also impressed by their incredible  patience and understanding. Whether it be Hurricane Irene or the neurotoxins that caused him to be abrupt and paranoid at times, the ICU nurses were always there to calm John’s fears and anxieties. “They were so wonderful about coming in and reassuring him that everything was fine,” Loreen recalls. They never lost patience.”

Looking back on the experience, John often thinks of the ICU nurses rather than his own pain and suffering. “All the really bad stuff, I just don’t think about that,” he states. “What the ICU nursing staff did for me—I think about that a lot. The ICU team stands out as being exemplary. They brought me through the worst experience I’ve ever had. They really are the gold standard.”

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