25-Year-Old Nurse Saves Her Own Life

By Dave Basner

December 2, 2019

There are many great reasons to become a professional nurse - the pay can be pretty good, you get to help people, and you learn all about health and the human body. Katie Barber from Long Island is probably pretty happy she chose nursing as her career because it wound up saving her life. As the 25-year-old recovered from surgery on a hip injury, she noticed she was having shortness of breath. Thanks to her medical knowledge, alarm bells rang for her and she wondered if her breathing issue was a symptom of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a blog clot that, if left untreated, could keep blood from getting to the lungs and be fatal. Just to be safe, she went to the hospital, and she was right.

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It might sound silly or vain but when I first found out I needed a pacemaker one of my top concerns was the aesthetic appearance of the scar. I thought about the future when it is summer and I want to wear a tank top, a bathing suit, and even a wedding dress in the future. I didn't want anyone to see it, see me differently. I did have the pacemaker inserted under my muscle so the device itself won't be visable. That has made the recovery a bit more painful and longer. I was also self conscious for the longest time about the scars on my hip from my prior surgery that led to my DVT/PE's.....I've come to realize I should wear these scars proudly. They're part of me. Every scar tells a story. A story that says, I survived. #thisisme #selflove #pacemakerclub #pacemaker #pesurvivor

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Not only did Katie wind up saving her own life with the DVT diagnosis, but as doctors treated her, they also discovered she had a heart condition called junctional rhythm and her lungs were filling with fluid, saving her life a second time. Katie needed more surgery and had a pacemaker installed. Since then, her health has improved incredibly and she uses her experiences to teach others about the importance of being aware of what our bodies tell us.

You can read more from Katie on her blog, Nurse Katie.

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