How Nurse Lisa’s intuition saved a life

Stories of the extraordinary presence of mind that nurses have shown during this COVID pandemic have become lore around places that aren’t just restricted to medical circles. The courage and ingenuity shown by some have not only saved lives, but have brought accolades and gratitude from society in general.

One such story of a nurse, rightly called a Corona Warrior, has been read and shared a large number of times. The story is about a phone call that saved the life of a senior citizen. It is a story of a nurse who spotted a small change in voice and realised there was trouble ahead.

This is a story of Ted Birch (88), who was a daily visitor used to visit his wife of 67 years at Parkhaven Trust’s The Beeches Centre, in Maghull. He used to do this every day, but then the coronavirus pandemic struck.

That was when the Centre stopped all indoor visitors. It was in a way understandable, considering the age of the inmates and the co-morbidities many of them had. So Ted stared calling his wife Maud daily instead.

Every time Ted would call, Lisa Russell, a nursed at the Centre and one who specifically looked after Maud would connect him to his wife. She also spoke to Ted and updated on a lot of information that Maud could not provide.

During one such call, Lisa noticed something ‘unusual’ in Ted’s voice, something she couldn’t readily put her finger on, simply through her conversation over phone. But Lisa’s intuition was extraordinary and she decided to drive over and check out why Ted sounded ‘not quite himself’. She wanted to help.

She called for backup too, so she called his daughter and off they went. Arriving at Ted’s house she found him “shivering and (he) had been sick. I immediately called the paramedics and they took him to hospital.”

That wasn’t all. Says Lisa in the report: “Whilst in hospital he went into cardiac arrest and was brought back by the doctors. I am so glad I went over when I did and was able to help Ted.”

If this is dismissed just as feel-good story, it would not be fair to Lisa and the millions like her who have decided to devote their lives to nursing others back to life, risking their own in these Covid times.

We salute them.




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