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Nurse Appreciation Week: Hear Ms. Rhonda’s story

Published: May. 12, 2022 at 4:09 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (TENNESSEE VALLEY LIVING) - Rhonda Lanier has dealt with health issues most of her life. Doctors visits and hospital stays are routine for her, but one visit was more shocking than the rest.

One day, Rhonda had a stroke due to an issue with her aortic valve which she would need to get replaced. Joking with hospital staff is how Rhonda has pushed through a lot of her journey.

“They would have to clean me, as they do many other patients… We joked, because that’s how I handle stress a lot or embarrassment… I would joke, and they would too! And it helped.”

Still though, Rhonda would find herself battling infection after infection, keeping her at Huntsville Hospital for months. But, thanks to the friendly staff, they made her feel at home.

“They would come in and visit with me, slide my curtain so they could visit a while. Number 650 was my room, and they’d decorate it for me… They would bring me fresh vegetables from the farmers’ market. You know you kind of get tired of hospital food.”

All that TLC would help restore Rhonda, and she was able to go home just in time for the holidays.

Fast forward to now, Rhonda is spending less time in the hospital and more time with family.

“Every time I’d go into surgery, I would say, ‘God bless you guys and get me to my grandchildren…’ I wanted to be with my grandkids. And the other day we were out playing, and they got up to me and said, ‘Mimi you’re crying!’ I said, ‘Oh, these are happy tears!’ And the 6-year-old said, ‘Mimi, there’s no such thing as happy tears.’ I said ‘Just wait.’ But that’s the kind of thing that Huntsville Hospital did for me. They got me back here.”

Thy got her back to her family, one that’s gotten even bigger for Rhonda since having been at Huntsville Hospital.

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