Artist recovering from COVID-19 honors Nebraska Medicine nurses who cared for him

Posted at 10:20 AM, Dec 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-30 13:57:12-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — "I'd never been this sick before, it was new, I was scared and I kept thinking I won't make it," said artist Danny Reyes.

He recovered from COVID and immediately put his thoughts, feelings and emotions on canvas.

"What means a lot to me is my art. I am really passionate about it, so I knew as soon as I got home, it would be the very first thing I would work on, this gift for the people who saved my life," he said.

He wasn't fully recovered when he started working on the painting.

"I would get a little winded, so I would have to slow it down," Reyes said.

The nurses who helped him were his superheroes.

"They would come in with such happiness and just happy to be there and so I started feeling that way," said Reyes.

His appreciation is one that does not go unnoticed, and at times, is much needed.

"Every day is a different day. You can have really bad days, you can have really good days but looking at that painting, on the days you know it is going to be tough, you look at that picture and you know we are making a difference in someone's life," said Tiffany Whitney, nurse supervisor with Nebraska Medicine in Bellevue.

The painting captures something that struck a chord with Reyes; the nurse's eyes and the kindness that stood out.

"I could recognize them from their voice and their eyes," said Reyes.

"That picture, if you have ever been in a COVID unit, the only thing you ever see is our eyes. We have the mask, face shield and the gown, and to know that the one thing they see is our eyes," said Whitney.

The painting is a reminder to the nurses of their strength.

"Every day is a fight for us to get people home to their families," said Whitney.

The painting hangs in the lobby at Nebraska Medicine in Bellevue.

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