Katie Barber from Long Island has an interesting credit to include on her resume: she’s seen medical professionals at work from both sides of the hospital bed, as both a nurse and a patient.
Plus, Barber managed to save her own life by identifying a medical emergency before her doctors.
The 25-year-old put her education to good use after being treated for a hip injury in 2018. While it was an old wound, the hip fracture started bothering her last year and Barber went under the knife to repair it.
After the surgery, Barber was told to rest for two weeks before starting physical therapy. That’s when she noticed her shortness of breath.
"Being a nurse, I started to wonder if this could be deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE)," Barber told MDW Features.
"I never thought something like this would happen to me, but I went to the hospital just to be safe. Well, I’m glad I went because it turns out I had a right leg DVT with bilateral PEs."
Deep vein thrombosis is a type of blood clot that’s associated with slowed blood flow, and it often strikes patients after a hip surgery.
If left untreated, the clot can block blood flow in the lungs and cause a fatal blockage called a pulmonary embolism.
Barber’s self-diagnosis turned out to be 100% correct, and spotting the symptoms early may have saved her life.
After more symptoms like dizziness emerged, doctors realized she also had a heart condition called junctional rhythm. Soon, Barber was back in the hospital, and an x-ray showed her lungs were filling with fluid.
In the end, doctors were forced to put Barber through surgery again, this time to install a pacemaker in her heart.
While 25 is awfully young to get a pacemaker, Barber says her health has improved dramatically since her surgery earlier this month. Now, she uses her pacemaker to illustrate how getting one can improve her patients’ lives.
Not many nurses can share firsthand knowledge about such a serious operation with their patients, so Barber’s case is really special!
[H/T: Fox News]