Nurses are Our Everyday Heroes

the medical city clark

via The Medical City |

Nurses are our everyday heroes. From left: Nicole Gonzales, Millicent Llanes, Crelane Gregorio, Florence Cancio, Camille Joy Zapata and Diana Yee

What was supposed to be a relaxing and fun-filled day at a resort in Clark, Pampanga turned out to be a fateful one for a group of nurses from The Medical City (TMC) Clark Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

The incident happened on June 3, 2015. The six nurses – Florence Cancio, Nicole Gonzales, Maria Crelane Gregorio, Camille Joy Zapata, Millicent Llanes and Diane Yee – were having fun at the pool when they noticed a commotion and heard people shouting and asking for help.

“At first we did not know what was happening until the bystanders said that a toddler was found floating in the swimming pool, unresponsive,” Gonzales related.

“We rushed to see the child who was already bluish and cold to touch. She was no longer breathing and had a weak pulse. We assessed the child to verify her condition since we did not have a stethoscope or any medical paraphernalia at that time,” added Gregorio.

The toddler, two-year-old Joy, was with her family at the time of the incident.

Cancio initiated cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and asked Joy’s older sister, who was nearest to the child, to do rescue breaths while she performed the chest compressions. Cancio was assisted by Zapata and Gregorio. While the three were attending to the child, Gonzales requested a van from the resort management that would bring the child to the nearest hospital. The other nurses stayed beside Joy’s family.

The nurses continued performing CPR on the child while on their way to the hospital.

“We and Joy’s parents agreed to proceed to TMC Clark because we believed the hospitals near the area would not be able to provide the care Joy needed at that time due to lack of facilities,” said Gregorio.

Joy was given immediate care upon arrival at the Emergency Department of TMC Clark. The hospital staff continued CPR, hooked the child to a cardiac monitor, suctioned and intubated her and then moved her to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). She was discharged from the hospital after 10 days.

Today, Joy is a picture of a bubbly, witty and charming little girl. Her parents even sent a thank you card to TMC Clark and the nurses on August 10, 2015.

It read: “To all the doctors, nurses, and staff of ER, ICU and NICU, who gave us a second chance to be with our precious Joy, we will never forget you and all your hard work…Thank you for giving Joy back to us, to see her grow, to see her go to school, and maybe become her own hero in the future.”

When asked if they see themselves as heroes, the NICU nurses just smiled, seemingly oblivious of their heroic deed.

“Being a nurse does not enclose you in the four corners of the hospital. Once you’re a nurse, you will always and forever be one. Even without your BP apparatus, stethoscope, etc, your presence of mind, knowledge, skills and resourcefulness will get you through,” added Cancio.

“We were given the choice to act or not to act. We chose to act,” said Llanes.

“I realized that Nursing is my true calling. Saving a child’s life or someone’s life inside or outside the hospital is something I want to be a part of,” shared Zapata.

In closing, Cancio said nurses should not be identified as persons who only follow orders from doctors but healthcare providers with a compassionate heart and always willing to help others.

“Being a nurse is a 24/7 thing. It does not end she leaves the hospital. A nurse grabs any chance to help save a precious life,” she said, matter of factly.

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