OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Beth McGrath says she was "on the verge of a complete panic meltdown" when a nurse named Nicole at Nebraska Medicine came to her side. Beth only knew her first name and the shift she worked on November 16, when she cared for her husband Jim. But they found each other thanks to social media, and they both agreed to talk to 3 News Now.
Jim McGrath had COVID-19 and his condition wasn't improving. He and his family hoped he would come home for hospice care, but he ultimately passed away at the hospital. His children spent time with him at the hospital on November 16 and the family was able to share memories and laugh together. When they went home, Beth stayed at the hospital and felt the enormity of the situation. She felt overwhelmed and began to question decisions that Jim, their family and she made together, such as "should we have put him on a respirator, should we have vented, should we have done these things?"
Nicole donned her PPE to come to Beth's aid.
Beth described those moments in her blog 'Her Name is Nicole.' "As she spoke, her eyes never wavering from me, I felt calm. My breathing slowed, my crying ceased, and I could center, take it all in, and finally turn back with strength to Jim and our final hours together ahead," she wrote. You can read the whole blog here.
Beth wanted Nicole to know how much her attentive care meant to her, and she wanted Nebraska Medicine to know about it too. She worries how this life-and-death work is impacting young healthcare workers.
Social media revealed the nurse was 26-year-old Nicole Godwin. Godwin said the pandemic has taken a toll on her and other healthcare workers, and the blog touched her.
Nicole told us, "I think I needed to hear that as much as she needed to put it out there. I definitely think we might've needed each other in that moment." Nicole also said she's learned from coworkers and she knows many healthcare workers are providing important care to patients and families every single day.