ICU nurse reconnects with former patient as colleagues

Updated: May. 6, 2021 at 6:34 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Briunna Wells was admitted to the ICU over a year ago with a ruptured throat and pneumonia. She arrived at Mayo Clinic emergency room thinking it would be nothing more than the common cold.

“I just wasn’t feeling good and I had expected to just get some steroids or some medication or if it was an infection, some kind of antibiotic to be treated and go home,” Wells said.

At the time, Wells was a first year nursing student and fast forward to her senior year, she reconnects with one of her ICU nurses at the gym.

Wells had thought about being able to thank the nurses that helped her recover.

Sara Matthieu is one of the nurses that helped Wells recover. After a CrossFit class, they starting chatting and learned they both worked at Mayo Clinic. Wells shared her journey and while listening, Matthieu realized who she was and who she was talking about.

“When I realized that she wasn’t talking only about my unit but she was talking about me and she was talking about nurses who are my friends who I’ve worked with for a long time it becomes very humbling,” Matthieu said.

When Wells was admitted to the ICU, she was worried she would miss her test the next day. Matthieu assured her everything would be fine.

“I probably reminded her six or seven times that she was not going to fail out of nursing school and it was going to be okay,” Matthieu said.

Having gone though her experiences in the ICU and the care she received, Wells knew that she wanted to continue in nursing.

“I felt it was gods way of telling me this what I need to do. This is my purpose in life,” Wells said.

Matthieu said reuniting with her former patient also let her know nursing is the job her.

“I guess I’m also in the right profession,” Matthieu said.

Matthieu and the rest of the ICU nurses are proud of Wells and they hope they can cheer her on in-person when she graduates next fall.

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