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Home > Careers > Faces of Mercy > Small Talk, Big Changes
A patient was hesitant about receiving a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) line. After reviewing information and taking the morning to think about it, he decided a PICC was the best way to help his body receive medication, but his nerves about the procedure were still getting the best of him. When Angie Getty, RN, arrived to start the PICC line, she could tell he was uneasy.
"He excused himself to go to the restroom before we started," Angie says. "While he was away, his wife and I talked lightheartedly about married life. I told her about a project my husband and I started, but had yet to complete, in our machine shed."
The patient, who grew up on a farm, overheard their conversation. He had been away from the industry for 40 years and often thought of it.
"When he came out of the restroom he was an entirely different person," she states. "He sat down on the bed and said he heard me talk about a machine shed; he asked if my family farmed. I said yes."
That was all it took to put him at ease. The pair talked about crops and cattle and John Deere equipment — the patient had a PICC line inserted before he even realized Angie had started the procedure.
"He just opened up during his hospital stay," she smiles. "He told me all about his time as a mayor, stories about a famous friend, and he even had his wife bring me a copy of a book he wrote so I could read it. He's an amazing man. I met his daughter and two granddaughters; his whole family is wonderful."
From a unique circumstance a friendship blossomed. Angie introduced her husband to the patient — who refers to Angie as his "angel" — and they, too, developed a special bond. The three decided to stay in touch.
The patient's daughter explained the deeper significance of Angie’s friendship — her father has stage 4 bone cancer. Being new to the area with no inspiration to stay motivated, he had started to withdraw and was giving up the fight, until he developed a one-of-a-kind friendship with a Mercy nurse that all started with a simple conversation and ended with a reason to enjoy life again.
"His wife says he's so much happier, and he's started walking two to four miles a day because he's feeling better," says Angie.
He has visited the Getty's farm several times, too, where he has helped rake hay, move bales and haul grain to the elevator. The families have enjoyed cattle barn tours, special dinners and each other's company.
"He said that months ago he wouldn't have even dreamed of leaving the house," Angie says of her friend. "He just wasn't feeling good. He said he feels better now and is having the most fun he's had in a long time."
"His friendship has changed our lives just as much as he and his family say we've affected his," she continues. "To know that just the simple gesture of talking farming with somebody made this kind of an impact; I would've never dreamed it."
Healing is our purpose. Compassion is our promise. That’s The Mercy Touch®.