These 11 brave nurses remind us why we celebrate National Nurses Week.

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:

More
via bfmamatalk / facebook

Where did we go wrong as a society to make women feel uncomfortable about breastfeeding in public?

No one should feel they have the right to tell a woman when, where, and how she can breastfeed. The stigma should be placed on those who have the nerve to tell a woman feeding her child to "Cover up" or to ask "Where's your modesty?"

Breasts were made to feed babies. Yes, they also have a sexual function but anyone who has the maturity of a sixth grader knows the difference between a sexual act and feeding a child.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Instagram / JLo

The Me Too movement has shed light on just how many actresses have been placed in positions that make them feel uncomfortable. Abuse of power has been all too commonplace. Some actresses have been coerced into doing something that made them uncomfortable because they felt they couldn't say no to the director. And it's not always as flagrant as Louis C.K. masturbating in front of an up-and-coming comedian, or Harvey Weinstein forcing himself on actresses in hotel rooms.

But it's important to remember that you can always firmly put your foot down and say no. While speaking at The Hollywood Reporter's annual Actress Roundtable, Jennifer Lopez opened up about her experiences with a director who behaved inappropriately. Laura Dern, Awkwafina, Scarlett Johansson, Lupita Nyong'o, and Renee Zellweger were also at the roundtable.

Keep Reading Show less
popular

Life for a shelter dog, even if it's a comfortable shelter administered by the ASPCA with as many amenities as can be afforded, is still not the same as having the comfort and safety of a forever home. Professional violinist Martin Agee knows that and that's why he volunteers himself and his instrument to help.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Courtesy of Macy's

In many ways, 18-year-old Idaho native, Hank Cazier, is like any other teenager you've met. He loves chocolate, pop music, and playing games with his family. He has lofty dreams of modeling for a major clothing company one day. But one thing that sets him apart may also jeopardize his future is his recent battle against a brain tumor.

Cazier was diagnosed in 2015. When he had surgery to remove the tumor, he received trauma to his brain and lost some of his motor functionality. He's been in physical, occupational, and speech therapy ever since. The experience impacted Cazier's confidence and self-esteem, so he's been looking for a way to build himself back up again.

"I wanted to do something that helped me look forward to the future," he says.

Enter Make-A-Wish, a nonprofit organization that grants wishes for children battling critical illnesses, providing them a chance to make the impossible possible. The organization partnered with Macy's to raise awareness and help make those wishes a reality. The hope is that the "wish effect" will improve their quality of life and empower them with the strength they need to overcome these illnesses and look towards the future. That was a particularly big deal for Cazier, who had been feeling like so many of his wishes weren't going to be possible because of his critical illness.

"In the beginning, it was hard to accept that it would be improbable for me to accomplish my previous goals because my illness took away so many of my physical abilities," says Cazier. His wish of becoming a model also seemed out of reach.

But Macy's and Make-A-Wish didn't see it like that. Once they learned about Cazier's wish, they knew he had to make it come true by inviting him to be part of the magical Macy's holiday shoot in New York.

Courtesy of Macy's

Make-A-Wish can't fulfill children's wishes without the generosity of donors and partners like Macy's. In fact, since 2003, Macy's has given more than $122 million to Make-A-Wish and impacted the lives of more than 2.9 million people.

Cazier's wish experience was beyond what he could've imagined, and it filled him with so much joy and confidence. "It is like waking up and discovering that you have super powers. It feels amazing!" he exclaims.

One of the best parts about the day for him was the kindness everyone who helped make it happen showed him.

"The employees of Macy's and Make-A-Wish made me feel welcome, warm, and cared for," he says. "I am truly grateful that even though they were busy doing their jobs, they were able to show kindness and compassion towards me in all of the little details."

He also got to spend part of the shoot outdoors, which, as someone who loves climbing, hiking, and scuba-diving but has trouble doing those activities now, was very welcome.

Courtesy of Macy's

Overall, Cazier feels he grew a lot during his modeling wish and is now emboldened to work towards a better quality of life. "I want to acquire skills that help me continue to improve in these circumstances," he says.

You can change the lives of more kids like Cazier just by writing a letter to Santa and dropping it in the big red letterbox at Macy's (you can also write and submit one online). For every letter received before Dec. 24, 2019, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. By writing a letter to Santa, you can help a child replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy, and anxiety with hope.

Believe
True
Macy's