If YOU have been following my blog, YOU may remember a post last October called

“IN a HEARTbeat…10 years later”

I wrote the story of my AMAZING relationship with a then 12-year-old girl who literally “died” from a virus that attacked the valves of her heart.

One hour and 48 minutes of CPR brought her back and it was feared not much was left.

She spent time on ECMO ( heart and lung bypass), damaged muscles in her leg, lost kidney function, got to spend a WHOLE lot of time in the PICU.

I met her there…..

I was her nurse for 3 months……

She changed my nursing life…

I hope I changed some of her life…

She inspired me to be the BEST nurse I could…

I learned from her…..she was the BEST teacher.

Last week, SHE graduated from The University of California at Berkeley with a Bachelor of Arts with a Concentration in Women’s Health Issues with HONORS

Before her time in the PICU, she was a 4.0 student in middle school.

She came back……..

She came back




I remember one day, during her rehab where she was fed up.

Mad at her Mom, mad at the world……teen angst….

She was looking to me to settle her anger, especially at her Mom at the time.

 I told her HOW for so many nights,

I watched her Mom cry,


be her BIGGEST supporter, so there was no sympathy from ME.

It was tough love, but LOVE all the same and we have remained in contact all these years.

When I got her Graduation announcement, I stopped and remembered


She continues to inspire me…..

Today, I walk into the PICU, carrying this girl deep in my heart because she made me BELIEVE.

I have HOPE for all the children I meet….

I will fight for them…

I will work hard for them….

I am SO PROUD of my former patient…Congratulations Meliza