Banner Health Services  

Denise's story:
The importance of caring colleagues


Denise's Story

Veteran nurse and teacher and someone with a Busy Life, Denise learned a few lessons of her own when she faced open-heart surgery.

For one thing, Denise, who has been in the healthcare profession for more than 35 years, was reminded of the compassion and caring of her colleagues at Banner Estrella Medical Center.

For months, Denise felt tired and had a nagging sore throat. She knew her blood pressure was too high and she was having some shortness of breath but she thought she just had a bad case of an overbooked schedule. Denise is a nurse at Banner Estrella. She also teaches at a local community college and is enrolled in a masters’ program and on top of all of that, she’s a mother and wife.

But what Denise thought was just understandable fatigue  was actually four blocked arteries. It took a stress test, nuclear testing and cardiac catheterization for Denise to realize her heart was in trouble.

“It scared me. It scared me because I had no idea that I was that sick and that’s what scared me because I just kept going and going.’’

Denise learned what is was like to be a patient surrounded by a caring nursing staff. As she waited for a cardiac catheterization, a nurse ran down to the gift shop and bought her a small flower that Denise kept with her during the procedure.

Another nurse French braided her hair before the operation so it wouldn’t get tangled. Another helped her find more comfortable clothes to wear during her recovery. "They were just the best.''

Because her Banner Estrella cardiac surgeon performed a beating-heart open-heart surgery, a procedure that doesn’t involve patients going on heart bypass, Denise healed faster and is back to her busy days.

"I’m a walking example of what open-heart surgery can do, It just gives you more energy. It gives you more life.’’

Denise: I am living proof.

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