Man in ICU Only Recognizes Severity of COVID Crisis After a Nurse Tells Him What She's Experienced

Robin Zlotnick - Author

Nov. 17 2020, Updated 12:54 p.m. ET

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Source: iStock Photo / Twitter

COVID cases are rising all over the country, and one of the hardest-hit spots is El Paso, Texas. A nurse named Ashley, who goes by @TheBlondeRN on Twitter, recently shared a thread about her experience in a COVID unit in El Paso, specifically with one patient who denied the seriousness of the COVID crisis, even as he struggled to recover in the hospital. 

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Ashley writes that she usually doesn't talk to patients about what she's seeing broadly or how bad things are, but something in her snapped, and she just had to make this man see how bad COVID is. In her thread, she explains that she resigned from her job last week. She doesn't have a single "breaking point," but this experience was one of them. 

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Even though he was in the hospital, even though he saw on the news horrifying stories of freezer trucks being ordered because morgues were running out of room for bodies, this man still believed that COVID wasn't any more serious than a flu. 

He thought the news was blowing it out of proportion and that if he'd just taken more vitamins, he wouldn't have ended up in the hospital. Ashley just couldn't believe what she was hearing.

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Nurses are so strong, and Ashley usually puts on a stoic face when dealing with patients. She doesn't often break down in front of them or talk to them about what she's seeing. But the fact that this patient was so mired in misinformation just broke her, and she felt like she had to say something. 

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Ashley gets extremely honest with her patient, telling him that she has seen more deaths in the last few weeks than she has in an entire career. She has to tell him that he's the only patient she has who seems to be getting better and even knows that she's there. 

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It is only at this point that her patient seems to start to understand that COVID isn't just a flu. It's so much worse than that.

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Ashley actually changed this man's mind. So many people have been so deeply poisoned by misinformation that getting through to them can feel hopeless. It took this man being in the hospital and being willing to listen to the firsthand testimony of a nurse on the frontlines in order to believe it. 

Ashley ends the thread by saying that she thanked the man for listening to her and told him she hopes he recovers fully. He said, "I will tell everyone that denies how bad this is about my experiences."

This isn't the first instance of a nurse dealing with patients who don't believe in the virus that they are suffering from. Recently, a nurse in South Dakota, Jodi Doering, shared her experience in a viral thread. She has treated several patients who don't believe that they could possibly have COVID, even as they're dying from it.

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