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At WakeMed, our patients are so much more than what we see in a hospital bed.
In December of 2016, Mindy Moore was admitted to WakeMed’s Surgical Trauma Intensive Care Unit (STICU) after suffering a pulmonary embolism – a condition in which one or more arteries in the lungs become blocked by a blood clot.
Her close friend, Erin Rieber, was there by her side every step of the way – from the time she was admitted to the time she was able to go home. Below, Erin shares her (and Mindy’s) story.
Interested in sharing your WakeMed story with us? Send us an email.
*The following is reprinted with permission from Erin Rieber and Mindy Moore.
There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about your role in bringing my best friend back from the brink of death.
Following a catastrophic pulmonary embolism, she ended up in the STICU, her prognosis grim. I slept by her hospital bed for ten nights, surrounded by beeping machines that ticked off her every breath and heartbeat, alarms that continually binged and shrilled and sent my heart racing, and the ever-present whisper of fabric and squeak of rubber soled sneakers as the nurses came and went, carefully and diligently tending to her many needs.
I’ve never known fear and uncertainty like that before.
It took near constant prayer to get to a place where I could trust God no matter the outcome. But while I was in the darkest moments of my life, you guys were there. Your competency was so comforting. Your kindness and respect towards me was like cool water on parched desert earth. You never once dismissed or ignored me, never made me feel stupid or bothersome when I peppered you with questions and tried to hold it together.
I am profoundly changed by that experience. I’m so grateful to God for getting both Mindy and me through that terrible time, but I’m also overwhelmingly grateful to you, the medical personnel who gave your all to save Mindy’s life.
You never gave up on her. You never hardened your hearts towards the near hopelessness of a patient who’d coded twice, once for 15 minutes, and the next for an astounding 25 minutes.
You operated on the belief that she could be saved, no matter the odds.
You have no idea how much you’ve affected my life—and others through me!
Since March, Mindy and I have partnered with the American Red Cross, using both Mindy’s story and our talents as professional storytellers to encourage blood donation. It’s just one small way that we have found to be able to give back.
Thank you for what you do. I know it must be such a difficult job, and that the realities of witnessing life and death as a normal part of your day must be tremendously wearing over time.
But it’s worth it.
To the families of your patients, no matter the outcome, your work is very precious indeed. I have my best friend back thanks to you. That is a gift that can never be repaid. Just as it can never be forgotten.
God bless you all, and know that what you do makes all the difference in the world. After all, some superheroes wear capes, some wear uniforms . . . and some wear scrubs :)
(writing as Erin Knightley, USA Today Bestselling Author)
3000 New Bern Ave.
Raleigh, NC 27610