Healing Words: ICU Nurse Pens Letter To Lost COVID-19 Patients

Katie Stencel wanted to honor the lives that have been lost to the virus. KUSA's Marc Sallinger reports.

GREELEY, Colo. (KUSA/NBC News) — The doctors and nurses fighting to save patients at hospitals across the country have been called superheroes. The work they do to treat people infected with COVID-19 has saved countless lives.

But they’re also human.

A nurse who works in the intensive care unit at Banner Health North Colorado Medical Center in Greeley is honoring those who have died of the virus through a letter she wrote.

In the middle of times as difficult as these, words have the power to heal. The words that make up this letter were written by Katie Stencel.

“I’ve been an ICU nurse for several years now. I go into work and take care of the hardest patients and the heaviest workload that I’ve ever had,” Stencel wrote. “I am so thankful that we’re called super heroes but I’ve never been able to truly get it because I don’t ever feel like a super hero. This is what we do every day.”

Stencel wrote this letter to remember the patients whose lives ended inside her hospital. She mourns their loss with every word and honors their memory through her writing.

“I would not want to be anywhere else in this whole world,” wrote Stencel. “It’s hard, especially when things were really bad, to get up and go to work everyday. But there was a purpose in my heart and a drive in my soul that I can’t even explain.”

Read more here.