Heartbreaking photo sheds light on the reality nurses face

Author: CBS Dallas
Published: Updated:
Tearful nurse sheds light on reality faced in ER, reminds to ‘spread love’. (Credit: CBS Dallas)
Tearful nurse sheds light on reality faced in ER, reminds to ‘spread love’. (Credit: CBS Dallas)

Weary from working 53+ hours in four days, labor and delivery nurse Caty Nixon was emotional the day her twin sister shared a now viral photo of her on Facebook.

“She’s gonna kill me for this pic…” the post’s caption begins before describing in empathetic detail a day in the life of a nurse, which is why the photo has touched so many on such a deep, personal level.

“Right when she saw it, she was like ‘what did you do?’ ” said Laura McIntyre. “Caty was crying in that picture because of her patient… because of the baby they lost, it wasn’t because she was going through anything personally.”

A nurse at Medical City McKinney, Nixon had just wrapped up her fourth shift in a row at the hospital. McIntyre further explained the raw emotion captured by the photo with her caption:

“That’s not including the 1.5 hours she’s in the car each day. She usually doesn’t get a chance to eat lunch or even drink much water. This pic is from a night back in July where she came to my house after a particularly hard day. She delivered a stillborn. Have you guys ever really thought about what a labor and delivery nurse sees? They see great joy in smooth deliveries and healthy moms and babies. They see panic and anxiety when a new mom is scared. They see fear when a stat C-section is called. They see peace when the mom has support from her family – bc not all new moms do. They see teenagers giving birth. They see an addicted mom give birth to a baby who is withdrawing. They see CPS come. They see funeral homes come. Did you know that they have to make arrangements for the funeral home to come pick up the baby? I didn’t either.”

Nixon eventually came around, appreciating her sister’s heart-felt expression of respect and gratitude.

“The way Laura writes and puts the emotion of pictures into words is just astounding to me, and I just think she did it so perfectly with that picture,” Nixon said.

The response was overwhelming, with almost 200,000 “likes” at the time of this article going live.

Countless messages of thanks have flooded McIntyre’s inbox from all over the world.

“I just think the positivity of it is the most amazing thing. Just to spread love,” said McIntyre.

Medical City McKinney has since released the following statement:

Caty Nixon is a wonderful example of the incredible knowledge, skill, and compassion of our dedicated Medical City Healthcare nursing colleagues. A nurse’s responsibility is huge, their commitment is endless, and their impact immeasurable— we applaud Caty for exemplifying the dedication and compassion of nurses everywhere.

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