Sometimes a dose of nature can help finish what medicine begins. ​​​​

Kathy Ingle had a severe anaphylactic reaction to contrast dye from a cancer screening, and she ended up at the ICU at Centura Health-Littleton Adventist Hospital in Littleton, Colorado. She spent nine days intubated, and at first her condition wasn’t improving.

“It was discouraging and terrifying for us, but especially for her,” said Ingle’s daughter, Pamela Butcher, who works for Centura Health as a patient account trainer. “I spoke to her nurse CeCe [Alvarez] three or four days into the experience and told her I thought my mother was losing hope.”

But Ingle’s care team had an idea. Alvarez and several others, including Ingle’s therapists, took her for a walk in the sunshine—ventilator and all.

“We decided to take her outside. We’ve taken patients outside before, but it’s not as common to walk them with a ventilator,” said Alvarez. “It takes a team to make sure it goes well.”

It went well. Ingle was strong enough to walk with assistance, and over three days she took three walks outside. Her care team quickly noticed an improvement. On the fourth day, she was extubated and was finally able to go home. ​​

“It saved my mom and I cannot say enough how grateful we all are,” said Butcher. “That is only one example of many decisions that allowed my mother to come home and be grandma to her 14 grandchildren.”

Traveling, loving and inspiring

Many of the nurses, respiratory therapists and physical therapists who cared for Ingle gathered in the Littleton Adventist Hospital lobby recently to remember Ingle’s experience and take a look at a photo of how she’s doing. Ingle was even able to take a vacation to Mexico not long ago.

“She is baking and loving on all of us again,” said Butcher. “I believe her story could be a huge inspiration for other patients and staff.”

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