“God had another plan,” says Nancy Clark, a COVID-19 survivor who spent 14 days at Centura Health’s Avista Adventist Hospital, six of those on a ventilator. More than a few times, Thom—her husband of 30 years—assumed she wasn’t going to make it. Nancy had several underlying medical conditions.

And yet, two weeks after she was rushed to the Louisville Colorado emergency room, Nancy left the Centura facility smiling, crying and surrounded by the very nurses and doctors who cared for her. “These people saved my life,” she exclaimed!

Days earlier, inside the hospital’s intensive care unit, registered nurse and house supervisor Jane Harris was able to administer a spiritual power pill of sorts. With the help of the ICU team of caregivers, Harris facilitated a way for Nancy’s husband Thom to communicate with his wife through an exterior window and cell phones. “He just kept saying ‘I love you. I love you. Stay strong,’” she recalled.

Being on a ventilator and in and out of consciousness, Thom wasn’t sure Nancy was hearing him—but to everyone’s surprise, she opened her eyes. Harris said, “Thom got very excited, nudging my side saying, ‘Did you see that? She’s going to be okay.’” Thom went on to encourage his wife, saying “You’re going to make it. Stay strong. I need you.”

Harris added, “I knew facilitating a way to communicate would help Thom, but I didn’t realize how it would also impact our patient.” Back inside the ICU, nurses mentioned to Harris that whatever she did had worked. Nancy was the most active they’d seen her in days.

At Centura Health, we know the care that comes from our minds and hands is only one part of whole person care. There’s another kind that comes from within—from our inherent, soulful desire to treat others with kindness and compassion.

Early in the pandemic, all 17 of Centura’s hospitals across Colorado and western Kansas were provided iPads equipped with virtual meeting technology so families could remain united with loved ones in the hospital when it’s not possible to interact with them physically. Data collected on isolation’s impact on healing shows that patients struggling with a sickness need to hear a familiar voice to help them on their journey back to whole health. And this new capability supports Centura’s philosophy of caring for the mind, body and spirit of its patients.

With a new outlook on life, Nancy is back on her feet at home in Colorado. She said, “I feel very fortunate.” Jane Harris, the nursing supervisor who helped get her there, added that the experience solidified her belief that we are all on this planet to look out for each other and uplift one another—and that “to provide the best care” requires all of us and serves all of us. “I’m awestruck by the impact of connection for our patients—the power of faith, love and family is amazing,” she added.

Submitted by Wendy Forbes, director of media relations and public relations for Centura Health.