Dani Reed, of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, never saw herself becoming a nurse – until she lost her newborn son to complications in 2007. Now she’s being honored by her local community for her decision to help others as part of National Nurses’ Week.
Reed went to the hospital when she was pregnant with her third son, Teagan. She told the nurses on staff that she knew something was wrong. But she says her concerns weren’t taken seriously until it was too late.
Soon after she gave birth, they had to put Teagan on life support, but his chances of survival were slim to none.
“That was the hardest decision that I’ve ever made in my life, and I can’t imagine that that’s any different for any families who have to make the same decision,” Reed said. “I don’t ever want somebody going home at the end of the day and feeling like I could have done more, I should have done more and so I share my experience so that they know that there are other people that have been in their situation.”
She soon switched to careers to become a full-time registered nurse.
Reed knows what it’s like to have the worst day of your life after losing a loved one. She often puts herself in the shoes of her patients and their families to better understand their needs.
Her goal as a nurse is to advocate for her patients and listen to their concerns.
After losing their son, they decided to donate his organs to those in need.
“My husband and I decided that we would donate to organs, organs so that we could help give the gift of life to somebody else that needed it,” Reed said.
Now, she urges her patients and relatives to do the same.
Reed was even nominated for the Daisy Award, honoring excellence in nursing, in August 2021.
She was nominated by a COVID-19 patient that she treated for five to six days straight at the Marshfield Medical Center in Eau Claire.
“Dani is a very contentious and compassionate nurse. She was always so loving and joyful in serving and helping me! She made me feel like it was an honor to have me as a patient. Everything she did was done in love. She even kindly helped me shave whiskers off of my face, so I could feel more human. She was kind to take time to visit with me while she was doing things in the room. It was such a comfort to me, as I have been isolated and not been able to have family or friends come to visit,” the patient wrote on behalf of Reed.
The pair also bonded over their faith in God.
“When I shared about my faith in the Lord, she shared as well about her faith, which for me was a huge blessing! It was so comforting, especially when your health is so poor, and God is my only hope! I am just so appreciative and grateful to have had Dani as my nurse; always so encouraging in any progress I was making! Dani is an awesome nurse!” they added.