7 nurses whose stories will touch your heart

The American Nurses Association calls this week National Nurses Week. We call it about time to recognize people with a passion for the profession.

Throughout the year, we record stories of families whose experiences at Cincinnati Children’s have been life-altering. Nurses often play a big role in those stories. Here are seven that will touch your heart:

Calling spans generations

Deborah Colina was visiting her premature granddaughter at Cincinnati Children’s when she made a remarkable discovery. Her granddaughter’s nurse, Angie Barnett, had also been Colina’s daughter’s nurse decades earlier. Watch the video.

 Family care, not just patient care

The Stanton family remembers the first nurse their son ever had. Gabriel Stanton was born with a heart condition, and Joy Neading-Rucker comforted not only Gabriel but both of his parents — even over the phone when Hollee Stanton called for updates from another hospital. Watch the video.

55 days with Robby

When Robby Dumford’s family showed up last fall at Cincinnati Walks for Kids, the hospital’s biggest fundraiser of the year, Robby’s nurse, Jessica Raglin, was right by their side. She had been one of Robby’s biggest cheerleaders since he was delivered, underwent surgery for a birth defect and even after he was strong enough to go home. She’s like part of the family. Watch the video.

From cancer care to Camp Joy

Nurse Linda Polman has known Callie Talbot ever since Callie was a child diagnosed with a tongue-twister of a disease: rhabdomyosarcoma, a cancer of connective tissues. Even after Callie pulled through, they stayed connected through a summer camp for cancer patients. Polman is camp nurse, and Callie was a junior counselor last summer. Watch the video.

‘She’s the best nurse you could get’

Nurse Jackie Thompson has a drawing by her desk that always reminds her of Cameron Noe, a 9-year-old hemophilia patient. It says, “fine as frog hair.” If you knew Cameron, a funny, self-proclaimed country boy who wants to be a rancher/hematologist someday, you could imagine him saying it. Thompson says kids like Cameron are the reason she does what she does. Watch the video.

Mallory and Angie: back to back

Meeting nurse Angie Strader is an unforgettable experience for girls like Mallory Hopper. They bond over talking about things like scars and strapless dresses. They both had spine surgery at the same age with the same surgeon. Watch the video.

‘I’m going to be a hematology nurse’

When she grows up, Bailey Walker, a grade-schooler who has lymphoma, says she wants to be a hematology nurse. Just like nurse Jill Koeberlein. Watch the video.

These stories are just a sampling of the way nurses at Cincinnati Children’s make a difference every day. If you have a story to share for our Tell Me a Story series, email us at tellmeastory@cchmc.org

Tanya Leach

About the Author: Tanya Leach

Tanya Bricking Leach is a writer and video producer at Cincinnati Children's and a former newspaper reporter who has covered crime for The Cincinnati Enquirer, sports for USA Today, island life for The Honolulu Advertiser, food for The Associated Press and stories about storms and surfers for the New York Times. Tanya is the author of the military-themed travel guide "Hawaii for Heroes." She is married to a military veteran and is the mother of two young boys. When she's not wired in at work, she enjoys unplugging with her family on their sailboat.

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  1. Alana Hammersmith May 09, 10:52
    While my newborn daughter was on the cardiac floor, I can't complain about any of the nurses. That hospital truly has angels working for them. Not only did they act as though my daughter was their own child, they cared for myself and my husband. All the nurses who work on the cardiac floor have a special place in Heaven waiting for them.
  2. Angela Retzios May 09, 20:16
    The nurses at CCHMC are true blessings. Our oldest was a "frequent flyer" and the nurses created a fun-loving environment while providing amazing care that cannot be matched anywhere. Although he was only meant to be on this earth for 5 1/2 years, they are a large part of our cherished memories. Their willingness to work as a solid unit for the children and their families allowed our "home away from home" to be a wonderful place. While all four of our children have utilized CCHMC, each experience with these fantastic nurses allows us to realize that we are so fortunate to have CCHMC in this area. What a gem you nurses are ... continue sharing your God-given talents with the children and their families and thanks so much for making our trying times manageable and often FUN!