A COVID STORY: UNAC/UHCP Members Show Patients Compassionate Care

A UNAC/UHCP staff member suffered a serious case of COVID-19 in recent months, and credits care at KP Woodland Hills as a reason for a successful road to recovery.

I went to the emergency room the day after Christmas with symptoms. I was immediately admitted and remained in the hospital for almost three weeks.

There were no visits or contact with my family. I was so isolated. Can you imagine being so alone? Not having your family with you. But the nurses were there. They were there for me. That fact says a great deal about who our members are.

They definitely showed a great deal of compassion despite the horrendous work stress they must have been going through. I knew that the staff members were very, very busy. And at that time, the hospitals were overflowing with COVID patients.  I could hear what was going on all around me. I knew it wasn’t easy for them.

The nurses walked me through everything that was happening. They explained everything to me: What I needed to know and what I needed to do. That was huge to me. I was helpless. But I knew what to expect. I could tell that they had good organizational skills and good time management for them to work so well with so many seriously ill patients like me.

I was weak. I struggled to breathe and could barely hold my head up. Yet, I never felt like the nurses were rushing me. All I heard from them was: “Tell me what you need.”

I had to rely on them for so much more than standard nursing care. I know that as busy as they were, I was given the best care, medical and personal. How could I think that they would stop to help me with the little things? But they did.

As I began to feel better, I needed to eat. My legs were just like sticks. I had lost so much weight.

For some reason, I would wake up around three o’clock in the morning: hungry. That was a good sign that I was recovering. But the time I needed to eat didn’t matter to the nurses on the floor. There was always someone right there, making sure I got food—even in the middle of the night.

After all the time in the hospital, my hair became matted. I was thinking I would have to shave my head when I got out. One night at the end of the shift, someone decided to stay and give me a shampoo. I saw a lot of my hair in the trash, but she spent the time to go through it. It made me look better, and I felt better.

It was a really, really tough time. It’s hard to believe, and it’s hard to explain, but I also felt at peace.

This is a story that needs to be told. I could never say enough about how kind they were when I needed compassion the most.

The identity of the author has been withheld for privacy reasons.