“My walk into the ICU each day was so difficult. I didn’t know what to expect,” Jodi recalled. She received comfort from the wide range of resources and support Cottage provided.
After two weeks, Colleen was well enough to be taken off the ventilator and slowly was brought back to consciousness. She was able to go home within a week after leaving the ICU.
Her story is a testament to the collaboration that occurs in the medical ICU between all staff involved— nursing, respiratory therapists, nutritionists, and more. Without access to that kind of support, Colleen likely would not have survived, say her physicians.
Jodi can’t say enough good things about the people who saved her daughter: “They were just wonderful, caring, loving, concerned, knowledgeable, educated women and men. It was just a great team of people,” she beamed. “We received so much human loving kindness from people who didn’t even know us.”
Colleen echoes these sentiments, even though she can’t remember her time in the hospital. She has walked away with a deeper appreciation of life, and the importance of protecting her health.
“I’ve really learned how precious life is. I hate to be cliché, but you just can’t sweat the small stuff,” Colleen emphasized. “You need to take care of yourself when you’re sick. Make the time to do this, and don’t stress about it. Stress is a killer.”
MARIA ZATE / PHOTO BY GLENN DUBOCK
"It’s always a reward to see someone recover from such a serious condition. Those are the gems for us."
— Ernest Rojas
Respiratory Care Clinical Specialist
"I remember her being admitted. It was a very emotional and scary moment, and we were all taking precautions [to prevent H1N1 infection]. We had just received the new ventilation masks. It was very tense when we found out her age [part of the high-risk group for H1N1]. Everyone was working together for Colleen and also providing support for her mom, who was so scared and fearful. To see someone go from near death to a full recovery is so amazing. Seeing Colleen at the Tiara Ball was unbelievable. I was watching her dance and thinking: she’s a living miracle."
— Zubeda Khan
MICU Unit Coordinator
"We had a bond with her family. We were learning through them who Colleen was. My favorite part was seeing Colleen and her mom at the Tiara Ball. She was healthy and doing well."
— Danielle Fiore
"Empathy was a big factor…Colleen was so young and many of the staff who worked with her have children in college. As with all patients we wanted a good outcome. And it happened."
— Luisa McLoughlin
Clinical Social Worker