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Nurses just aren’t wired to be bystanders. When you see someone hurt or sick, you run to them because that’s part of who you are. And, after two years of working in a deadly pandemic amid a horrifying lack of facts, PPE, and staff, dashing to help at an accident scene probably seems a relatively safe activity for a nurse.
So, when she saw a motorcyclist thrown against the trunk of a car after being rear-ended by another vehicle, Nurse of the Week Amie Page, RN did what came naturally. Unfortunately, in the process, she ended up needing an ambulance herself and was treated on the same floor as the man she tried to rescue.
Last Friday, the Minnesota labor and delivery nurse was driving to her shift at Mercy Hospital when she saw a motorcyclist being tossed like a ping pong ball between two vehicles. When encountering an accident en route to work, the go-to reaction for many of us is to curse under our breath, sigh, and settle back for a long wait (and maybe, if one is in a nice mood, we remind ourselves not to blame the victim). When the protagonist is a nurse, though, it just means that their shift has started earlier than usual and is a little closer to home than expected.
So, Page pulled over and responded according to her kind. As she started to cross the intersection to reach the injured cyclist, the nurse says, “I went to go help…” and something happened.
“The next thing I remember,” she told a reporter, “is being in the ambulance and being told I was struck by a car.” Her own run-in with an auto left Amie with multiple broken bones in her face, a fracture in her skull near an eye, along with a varied and very painful assortment of bruises. As a result, police responders had to summon two ambulances to the scene. Nonetheless, Page unhesitatingly says, “I am so unbelievably grateful. I would absolutely do it again. As a nurse, I just feel it is my duty to help people.”
In addition to ending up on the same unit as his would-be rescuer, the motorcyclist had the nerve to recover even before she did. However, they got along… just like a nurse and patient, and Page’s daughter says the two became friends. Once ambulatory, the biker was so gratified that the RN had not merely sat back and cursed his misfortune that he brought her a huge bouquet and gifts. The survivors of that very bad Friday exchanged a big hug as well.
Her injuries have knocked Page out of work and will keep her at home for some weeks, so her daughter Emily opened a Go Fund Me to help cover the bills for her mother’s treatment and keep bread on the table while she recovers. Within 24 hours they had already reached over 1/2 of their $10,000 target. Emily thinks this is only proper: “I am proud that she is my Mom; she would give anybody the shirt off her back!” (And she no doubt approves that as of yesterday, the fund for her mother had reached $9,000).
So, the next time any of you DailyNurse readers think “I HAVE to help” and feel yourselves inexorably pulled toward an accident scene, please be very careful. We can’t afford to lose any of you at any time… and that goes double during a staffing crisis, so watch your backs for all our sakes.
Click here to see an interview with Amie Page and friends.