The patient, Collette Hurd, has been waiting since July 2021, for a lung and kidney transplant.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on November 24, 2021. It has since been updated.
Collette Hurd was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension, a rare disease that causes high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs and heart. This forced her to be admitted to the Northwestern Memorial in Chicago in May 2021, so she could await a double-lung transplant. Unfortunately, 57-year-old Hurd suffered some other complications, which meant that she needed a kidney transplant as well, reports PEOPLE.
Eventually, Hurd was listed for a double-lung and double-kidney in July, and she's been waiting since then. But, during her stay at the hospital, she managed to capture the hearts of the staff there, with her kindness. "Collette is a wonderful human," ICU staff member Kari Brouwer says in a statement.
"Collette knows when you're having a rough day. She said to me, whenever she goes for a walk, she walks past patient rooms and prays for each one of them. She also prays for the nurses and rehab staff," Brouwer adds. "Having Collette in the ICU is such a bright light, and she rubs off on everyone she meets. She renews your hope, helps you continue with your day, and reminds you why you got into healthcare in the first place."
ICU Staff Surprise Patient with Vow Renewal Ceremony at Hospital Chapel: She's a 'Shining Light' https://t.co/TBzHnfKT4H— People (@people) October 5, 2021
From all the conversations the nurses have had with Hurd, they found out that she's about to celebrate her 20th wedding anniversary, and so they wanted to do something special for her, given how she'd have to spend her milestone in the hospital. The staff worked with her husband to set up a vow renewal ceremony in the building's chapel.
On the day of the event, the staff got her a white gown with the word "Bride" stuck to the back. They even placed blue butterfly stickers on her shoes. Hurd and her husband then toasted to their marriage with sparkling grape juice, according to the hospital. Apparently, it was the least they could do for their favorite patient.
"Even in an ICU setting, every day Collette wakes up with a smile on her face," staff member Carey McGarvey says. "Collette is genuine, truly cares, and gives you a nice 'hanging out with a friend' kind of feeling."
Physical therapist Megan Burwell says Hurd has been a "shining light," especially during the pandemic.
"A lot of these patients don't have visitors or family, so we're all they have as far as physical contact and support," she says. "It's been rewarding, but also sad. These are parents, brothers, sisters. All we can do is be there for them as best we can."
"Collette is a shining light — she loves butterflies, so in my mind, she's my butterfly," she adds. "That's not to say there aren't hard days, because she's been here for quite some time, but she remains so positive — even after a bad day. Her personality and heart are contagious."
It really does pay to remain kind to people around you.
Cover Image Source (Representative): Getty Images | JovanaT