Nurses don't get nearly enough credit for their awesomeness.

Sure, doctors stand above them in the hierarchy of medical work (and I guess they're OK too), but nurses are the ones out there on the front lines, the unsung heroes who do the dirty work without expectation of reward.

They're the ones who take care of us — by checking in at the start of the appointment or drawing blood then gently patching us up or encouraging us to drink down delicious apple juice (or whatever other weird but necessary hospital foods). They watch over us at school when we scrape our knees on the playground or fake a headache just to skip gym class.


And, more often than not, they're the ones who are called into action during times of crisis, like superheroes who just can't hang up their capes.

So in celebration of National Nurses Week, here are 11 extraordinary nurses who went above and beyond the call of duty.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

1. In Flint, Michigan, nurses are volunteering their time to give aid to people suffering from the contaminated water.

Veronica Robinson is just one of the many Flint-area nurses and student nurses who have selflessly sacrificed their time to draw and test children's blood and to educate parents on lead contamination, water treatment, and other preventative measures.

Image via wochit news/YouTube.

2. A retired New York nurse saved a man who had a heart attack on a Midtown street.

Claire O'Neill was 69 years old when she saw William Taylor collapse on 9th Avenue. She performed heart compressions until paramedics could arrive. Her act formed an eternal bond between the two as they entered their autumn ages — she even checked on him a few days later at the hospital.

Image via ABC7NY.

3. On her ride home from work, a Boston nurse saved a bus driver who was having a seizure.

Sarah Demers first noticed the bus was shaking … and then that it was drifting toward a pole. She rushed to the front where she found the driver in the middle of a seizure. Fortunately, she was able to step in and hit the brakes in time before getting the driver to a nearby hospital.

Boston Medical Center, where Demers had been working. Photo by Cmcnicoll/Wikimedia Commons.

4. Another nurse was enjoying a game of sudoku some 30,000 feet in the air when she was called to the aid of the pilot flying the plane.

Linda Alweiss was flying home to California from Iowa when the flight attendants made an announcement in search of a medical professional. When Alweiss offered her services, she didn't expect to be reviving a pilot in the middle of a heart attack. (Fortunately, the co-pilot knew how to keep the thing in the air.)

Image via NBC4 Los Angeles.

5. While vacationing in Thailand, a German cyclist collapsed on the side of the road until an off-duty nurse passed by in her car.

Several other cars had allegedly passed by, but none had noticed the man waving for help. Fortunately, Srikanya Cheuarop had been out on a trip with her family and was able to provide first aid until an ambulance could arrive.

Image via Khaosod TV/YouTube.

6. A nursing student was enjoying a night out at the theater when he ended up reviving a woman in the front row.

No sooner had Kristian Keyte settled into his seat at the Bristol Hippodrome to see the musical "The Bodyguard" than he noticed the distressed look on the woman's face in front of him. As it turned out, the woman's mother had suddenly stopping breathing. Keyte performed CPR and helped revive her until the medics arrived to take her to the hospital.

Image via ITV West County.

7. A travel nurse in San Diego ended up delivering a baby in the absence of a doctor … for someone who just so happened to work for her company.

Russ Waehler's wife went into labor a week before expected, but fortunately both of their concerns were calmed by a friendly travel nurse named Kim in the waiting room — who coincidentally worked for the same company as Waehler. When things progressed quickly and the doctor was unable to make it to the delivery room in time, Kim stepped up and handled the work in their stead.

Photo by Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images.

8. A nurse in London was interrupted in the middle of a relaxing pint at the pub when a stabbing victim stumbled through the doors.

The stabbing appeared to be unconnected to the pub itself, but that didn't stop Louise Williams from taking control of the situation. She ordered the bartender to fetch a bath towel, and urged another drinker to phone an ambulance as she tended to the bleeding — ultimately saving the man's life.

The pub where it happened. Photo by Ewan Munro/Flickr.

9. A London nurse assisted an elderly man — who himself had stepped in to help her just minutes before.

65-year-old Stephen Breed intervened when he saw nurse Polly Collins arguing with another man on the train. But when he disembarked at the next station, he collapsed in cardiac arrest ... and Collins took the chance to return the favor while the station attendants called the hospital.

Stephen, left, during his stay in the hospital, and Polly, right. Image via NNM News/YouTube.

10. A Michigan police officer who was training to become a nurse had an unexpected opportunity to employ both sets of skills at once.

Highland Park police officer Mitch Heaney was called to investigate a knife attack near a drug clinic and quickly realized the victim was going to die if he didn't act fast. Heaney used the nursing skills he'd been taught to stop the bleeding.

Image via ABC7 WXYZ.

11. During an Australian heat wave, an off-duty nurse rescued a 4-year-old child from a hot car.

Nurse Jess Hawkins had just finished her shift at Mt. Druitt Hospital in a Sydney suburb when she noticed the child in the parking lot with no shade for protection. She immediately alerted the hospital staff, and police arrived shortly after to smash the car windows and rescue the child from the heat.

Image via 7 News/Yahoo.

To these and all the other brilliant, selfless nurses in the world, we just want to say: Thank you.

And in case you're somehow still not feeling inspired, maybe this'll do the trick:

Images courtesy of Letters of Love
True

When Grace Berbig was 7 years old, her mom was diagnosed with leukemia, a cancer of the body’s blood-forming tissues. Being so young, Grace didn’t know what cancer was or why her mother was suddenly living in the hospital. But she did know this: that while her mom was in the hospital, she would always be assured that her family was thinking of her, supporting her and loving her every step of her journey.

Nearly every day, Grace and her two younger sisters would hand-make cards and fill them with drawings and messages of love, which their mother would hang all over the walls of her hospital room. These cherished letters brought immeasurable peace and joy to their mom during her sickness. Sadly, when Grace was just 10 years old, her mother lost her battle with cancer.“

Image courtesy of Letters of Love

Losing my mom put the world in a completely different perspective for me,” Grace says. “I realized that you never know when someone could leave you, so you have to love the people you love with your whole heart, every day.”

Grace’s father was instrumental in helping in the healing process of his daughters. “I distinctly remember my dad constantly reminding my two little sisters, Bella and Sophie, and I that happiness is a choice, and it was now our job to turn this heartbreaking event in our life into something positive.”

When she got to high school, Grace became involved in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and a handful of other organizations. But she never felt like she was doing enough.

“I wanted to create an opportunity for people to help beyond donating money, and one that anyone could be a part of, no matter their financial status.”

In October 2018, Grace started Letters of Love, a club at her high school in Long Lake, Minnesota, to emotionally support children battling cancer and other serious illnesses through letter-writing and craft-making.


Image courtesy of Letters of Love

Much to her surprise, more than 100 students showed up for the first club meeting. From then on, Letters of Love grew so fast that during her senior year in high school, Grace had to start a GoFundMe to help cover the cost of card-making materials.

Speaking about her nonprofit today, Grace says, “I can’t find enough words to explain how blessed I feel to have this organization. Beyond the amount of kids and families we are able to support, it allows me to feel so much closer and more connected to my mom.”

Since its inception, Letters of Love has grown to more than 25 clubs with more than 1,000 members providing emotional support to more than 60,000 patients in children’s hospitals around the world. And in the process it has become a full-time job for Grace.

“I do everything from training volunteers and club ambassadors, paying bills, designing merchandise, preparing financial predictions and overviews, applying for grants, to going through each and every card ensuring they are appropriate to send out to hospitals.”

Image courtesy of Letters of Love

In addition to running Letters of Love, Grace and her small team must also contend with the emotions inherent in their line of work.

“There have been many, many tears cried,” she says. “Working to support children who are battling cancer and other serious and sometimes chronic illnesses can absolutely be extremely difficult mentally. I feel so blessed to be an organization that focuses solely on bringing joy to these children, though. We do everything we can to simply put a smile on their face, and ensure they know that they are so loved, so strong, and so supported by people all around the world.”

Image courtesy of Letters of Love

Letters of Love has been particularly instrumental in offering emotional support to children who have been unable to see friends and family due to COVID-19. A video campaign in the summer of 2021 even saw members of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings and the NHL’s Minnesota Wild offer short videos of hope and encouragement to affected children.

Grace is currently taking a gap year before she starts college so she can focus on growing Letters of Love as well as to work on various related projects, including the publication of a children’s book.

“The goal of the book is to teach children the immense impact that small acts of kindness can have, how to treat their peers who may be diagnosed with disabilities or illness, and how they are never too young to change the world,” she says.

Since she was 10, Grace has kept memories of her mother close to her, as a source of love and inspiration in her life and in the work she does with Letters of Love.

Image courtesy of Grace Berbig

“When I lost my mom, I felt like a section of my heart went with her, so ever since, I have been filling that piece with love and compassion towards others. Her smile and joy were infectious, and I try to mirror that in myself and touch people’s hearts as she did.”

For more information visit Letters of Love.

Please donate to Grace’s GoFundMe and help Letters of Love to expand, publish a children’s book and continue to reach more children in hospitals around the world.

Ronny Tertnes' "liquid sculptures" are otherworldly.

Human beings have sculpted artwork out of all kinds of materials throughout history, from clay to concrete to bronze. Some sculpt with water in the form of ice, but what if you could create sculptures with small drops of liquid?

Norwegian artist Ronny Tertnes does just that. His "liquid sculptures" look like something from another planet or another dimension, while at the same time are entirely recognizable as water droplets.

I mean, check this out:


Keep Reading Show less
Images courtesy of AFutureSuperhero and Friends and Balance Dance Project
True

The day was scorching hot, but the weather wasn’t going to stop a Star Wars Stormtrooper from handing out school supplies to a long line of eager children. “You guys don’t have anything illegal back there - any droids or anything?” the Stormtrooper asks, making sure he was safe from enemies before handing over a colorful backpack to a smiling boy.

The man inside the costume is Yuri Williams, founder of AFutureSuperhero And Friends, a Los Angeles nonprofit that uplifts and inspires marginalized people with small acts of kindness.

Yuri’s organization is one of four inaugural grant winners from the Upworthy Kindness Fund, a joint initiative between Upworthy and GoFundMe that celebrates kindness and everyday actions inspired by the best of humanity. This year, the Upworthy Kindness Fund is giving $100,000 to grassroots changemakers across the world.

To apply, campaign organizers simply tell Upworthy how their kindness project is making a difference. Between now and the end of 2021, each accepted individual or organization will receive $500 towards an existing GoFundMe and a shout-out on Upworthy.

Meet the first four winners:

1: Balance Dance Project: This studio aims to bring accessible dance to all in the Sacramento, CA area. Lead fundraiser Miranda Macias says many dancers spend hours a day at Balance practicing contemporary, lyrical, hip-hop, and ballet. Balance started a GoFundMe to raise money to cover tuition for dancers from low-income communities, buy dance team uniforms, and update its facility. The $500 contribution from the Kindness Fund nudged Balance closer to its $5,000 goal.

2: Citizens of the World Mar Vista Robotics Team: In Los Angeles, middle school teacher James Pike is introducing his students to the field of robotics via a Lego-building team dedicated to solving real-world problems.

James started a GoFundMe to crowdfund supplies for his students’ team ahead of the First Lego League, a school-against-school matchup that includes robotics competitions. The team, James explained, needed help to cover half the cost of the pricey $4,000 robotics kit. Thanks to help from the Upworthy Kindness Fund and the generosity of the Citizens of the World Middle School community, the team exceeded its initial fundraising goal.

Citizens of the World Mar Vista Robotics Team video update youtu.be

3: Black Fluidity Tattoo Club: Kiara Mills and Tann Parker want to fix a big problem in the tattoo industry: there are too few Black tattoo artists. To tackle the issue, the duo founded the Black Fluidity Tattoo Club to inspire and support Black tattooers. While the Brooklyn organization is open to any Black person, Kiara and Tann specifically want to encourage dark-skinned artists to train in an affirming space among people with similar identities.

To make room for newcomers, the club recently moved into a larger studio with a third station for apprentices or guest artists. Unlike a traditional fundraiser that supports the organization exclusively, Black Fluidity Tattoo Club will distribute proceeds from GoFundMe directly to emerging Black tattoo artists who are starting their own businesses. The small grants, supported in part with a $500 contribution from the Upworthy Kindness Fund, will go towards artists’ equipment, supplies, furnishings, and other start-up costs.

4: AFutureSuperhero And Friends’ “Hope For The Holidays”: Founder Yuri Williams is fundraising for a holiday trip to spread cheer to people in need across all fifty states.

Along with collaborator Rodney Smith Jr., Yuri will be handing out gifts to children, adults, and animals dressed as a Star Wars’ Stormtrooper, Spiderman, Deadpool, and other movie or comic book characters. Starting this month, the crew will be visiting children with disabilities or serious illnesses, bringing leashes and toys to animal shelters for people taking home a new pet, and spreading blessings to unhoused people—all while in superhero costume. This will be the third time Yuri and his nonprofit have taken this journey.

AFutureSuperhero started a GoFundMe in July to cover the cost of gifts as well as travel expenses like hotels and rental cars. To help the nonprofit reach its $15,000 goal, the Upworthy Kindness Fund contributed $500 towards this good cause.

Think you qualify for the fund? Tell us how you’re bringing kindness to your community. Grants will be awarded on a rolling basis from now through the end of 2021. For questions and more information, please check out our FAQ's and the Kindness Toolkit for resources on how to start your own kindness fundraiser.

The scarf, a simple accessory that some find an essential fashion piece. Both fashionable and function with the warmth they provide, scarves can be a valuable gift for any occasion or person. Here, we've selected our best selling scarves from our store. At Upworthy Market, when you purchase a product, you directly support the artisans who craft their own products, so with every purchase, you're doing good. These scarves are not only unique, but they are hand-made by local artisans and all under $30.

1. Fair Trade Woven Dark Gray Alpaca Blend Scarf

Celinda Jaco selects a cozy blend of Andean alpaca for this handsome men's scarf. Classic in style, it features fine stripes of white and black woven through the dark grey textile. Hand-tied fringe completes a distinguished design.

cdn11.bigcommerce.com

Keep Reading Show less

Kayla Sullivan nails the reality of toddler tantrums in her mock news report.

Anyone who's ever had a 2-year-old knows that they can be … a lot. Adorable for sure, but … a lot. Toddlers are just starting to figure out that they have their own free will, but they have zero idea how to wield it or use it for good. They want what they want, when they want it—except when they change their mind and absolutely do not want what they just wanted—and they don't really have the emotional maturity or verbal acuity to adequately express any of these things without crying, whining or screaming.

There's a reason they're so darn cute.

For parents, handling a 2-year-old's 2-year-oldness can be a challenge. You can't rationalize with them. You know they're not being little toddler terrors on purpose. You know that they're just learning and that it's a stage and a phase that won't last forever, but when you're in it? Phew.

Keep Reading Show less