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In This Issue:
Former patient Kerri Hatch, center, is joined by some of the nurses who cared for her, including, from left, Mary Mintz, RN, Coleen McCarty, RN, Terri Kanalski, RN, and Kristin Iannitelli, RN.
It’s been six months since Kerri Hatch was wheeled out of the Neuroscience ICU, where she was treated for tramatic brain injury, spinal fluid leakage and facial fractures after falling from a horse in January.
Last week, a determined Hatch, 25, triumphantly returned to Tower 9C walking on her own to meet the nurses who cared for her.
Terri Kanalski, RN, was thrilled to reunite with her former patient. “She definitely left an impression on me,” Kanalski said. “I wanted to make her better.”
Hatch’s parents, who were by her side every second of her three-week stay, credit the Neuro nurses with their daughter’s recovery. “Their devotion is unlike anything we’ve ever seen before,” Audrey Hatch, Kerri’s mother, said. “Trust is not a word that even begins to describe what my husband and I had to look to them with.”
The Hatches already had experienced the devotion of one BWH nurse. Ursula Goodine, RN, of the Operating Room, was at Johnson Pond when the accident occurred. She rushed to the aid of the fallen Kerri Hatch and joined her mother in performing CPR for more than 20 minutes until an ambulance arrived. Audrey Hatch recalled that Goodine would not let her give up. The Hatches didn’t think they’d ever see Goodine again, and the group enjoyed a tearful reunion when they met in Kerri’s hospital room the next day, more than six months ago.
Last week’s return visit to BWH was a new experience for Kerri. Because of the extent of her injuries, she has no memory of her time on 9C, but she was welcomed back with open arms.
“It makes me feel good that all these people really care,” she said. “I didn’t know what to expect or what I’d see. I’ve never even driven by the hospital.”
Hatch is recovering in about half the time usually required for people with similar injuries. Shaun Golden, BSN, RN, CNRN, nurse manager of the Neuro ICU, said that’s because she’s young and was physically fit prior to the accident.
Those factors, coupled with her self-described stubborn nature, were key to her recovery.
Seeing Hatch walk through the doors of 9C was especially rewarding for Kanalski. “We don’t often see patients after they leave here,” she said. “To see her doing so well is a big reward for us.”