“Nursing His Soul”: A Transplant Nurse’s Journey

David Waits had been a patient in the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU) at University of Cincinnati Medical Center for 120 long days when Katie Greathouse received the phone call letting her know that Waits was being scheduled for a heart transplant procedure.

On Feb. 2, 2016, Waits received a heart transplant, giving him a second chance at life and marking the official return of the hospital’s heart transplant program after an eight-year hiatus. It was a positive outcome, but the road to that day wasn’t easy – not for Waits, nor for his team of caregivers.

David Waits

Unfortunately for Waits, prior to getting the call about his transplantation, waiting was the only thing his nursing staff and care team could do along with him. “During that time, it was about nursing his soul, too,” said Greathouse. “I was on night shift at the time, and some¬times, we’d just sit — that was all he needed, somebody to just sit with him in the quiet.”

Greathouse said being part of Waits’ journey and playing a role in the return of the heart transplant program was one of the most rewarding experiences of her career.

“The whole thing was magical: you’re taking an organ out of someone else’s body and giving life to somebody who was told, ‘This is it,’” she said. “I’m proud to be part of the rejuve¬nation of the transplant program. We need this in the region; people need us.” Read the original story here. >>

Now We Join in Celebration

As we celebrate 50 years of providing excellence in transplantation, breakthrough treatments and compassionate coordination of care to the region, we invite you to join us in a 50-day countdown to the anniversary of the first surgery that launched Cincinnati’s most comprehensive transplant program.

Celebrate with us by sharing our stories of transplantation with your social media network using #UCHealthTransplant via FacebookTwitter or Instagram!

For more information about UC Health transplant services, please visit uchealth.com/transplant.