Today, And Every Day, Thank A Nurse

By Kristine Hartvigsen on May 5th, 2017

Her name is Nanush Shakernia.

Had it not been for TV host Jimmy Kimmel’s recent monologue viewed by millions around the world (he is pictured here with his family and the new baby), no one may have heard of the attentive, quick-thinking nurse from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

“Nanush,” as Kimmel informally calls her, was on duty the day William “Billy” Kimmel arrived in an otherwise routine birth at the hospital. The delivery had been nearly textbook perfect.

A few hours later, as the family gathered to coo at the new arrival, the observant nurse detected a heart murmur and noticed an unusual purple hue to the infant’s skin, an indication he was not getting enough oxygen in his blood. She immediately took action, calmly taking the baby to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for further evaluation.

After a series of tests, the NICU team concluded that the baby boy had a serious congenital heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF). That diagnosis led to a transfer to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where the baby underwent successful surgery and, after some follow-up surgery and treatment, is expected to be fine.

Kimmel understandably chokes up when he tells the story. In his monologue, he gratefully recites the names of doctors and other members of his son’s care team. But the one name he most often and fondly references is Nanush.

Thanks to Nanush’s discerning eye and alert intervention, the days-old infant now has a favorable prognosis and outlook. “If it was a girl, we would have named her Nanush,” Kimmel gushed. “We really would have.”

National Nurses Week begins each year with National Nurses Day on May 6 and ends on May 12, which is Florence Nightingale's birthday. This year’s theme is “Nursing: The Balance of Mind, Body, and Spirit.” Stories like Kimmel’s abound, but they seldom go viral. Across the country every day, non-celebrity families quietly thank the nurses who have had such a powerful impact on their love one’s care. This is the time to celebrate and acknowledge their contributions. Nurses carry an enormous amount of responsibility, too often with little recognition. Together, let’s change that.

This blog provides general information and discussion about healthcare-related subjects. The content and linked materials provided are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader is an expectant mother with a medical concern, she should consult with an appropriately licensed physician or healthcare provider.


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