Lincoln man offers special thank you to nurses who helped him beat COVID

After almost six weeks in the hospital at CHI Health St. Elizabeth with COVID-19, a Lincoln man has made quite the recovery and he credits the nurses who kept him alive.

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – After almost six weeks in the hospital at CHI Health St. Elizabeth with COVID-19, a Lincoln man has made quite the recovery. Jeff Walker was back in the hospital on Thursday morning but this time it was for a special surprise.

“I think I audibly said it out loud. Oh my gosh, he looks so good,” said ICU nurse McKenna Volquardsen after seeing Walker.

Walker says he was as healthy as can be but hadn’t yet got his vaccine before he tested positive for COVID-19 in November of 2021. He was hospitalized, sent to the ICU and eventually put on a ventilator.

“Towards the end when I checked out. She told me, my home nurse, she said there was a bunch of us that didn’t think you were gonna make it past new year’s,” Walker recalls.

With his wife Janell by his side the entire way, and nurses working day-in and day-out, Walker began to get better and would become known as a miracle patient.

Cheyenne Hartmann, an ICU nurse that took care of Walker said, “I did take care of him further on, through all the other stages with him getting his trach and everything. It was really great to see him actually thrive after getting his trach because, in the beginning, it was really touch and go with him.”

Now, as Walker continues down his road to recovery, he wanted to make sure the nurses who worked so hard to keep him alive, knew they were appreciated.

“It sounds like a cliché and something I dreamt up but it just came to me the other day when I was thinking about this, but they saw me at my worst and I saw them at their best,” Walker said.

For the nurses who have spent the last two years taking care of thousands of patients during some of their darkest times, a hug, some cookies and a heartwarming thank you goes a long way.

“We don’t get it as often as we wish we would,” Hartmann said. “November and December was a really hard time for a lot of us. We lost a lot of people. We don’t get to see a lot of success stories, so it’s really great to see somebody come back and actually acknowledge the work that we put in for them.”

Categories: Coronavirus, Nebraska News, News, Top Stories