ADN Grad, ICU Nurse and COVID-19 Patient Shares Journey and Advice on Social Media
Kate Thompson is a critical care registered nurse at Cleveland Clinic Akron General Hospital on the front lines of COVID-19 patient care, a 2014 graduate of the Associate Degree in Nursing program at Kent State University at Tuscarawas, and a coronavirus patient who is currently in the fight of her life while spreading a message of virus protection and kindness on social media from her hospital bed.
This marks day 33 of Thompson’s journey with the virus and day 13 as a patient at Cleveland Clinic Union Hospital, where she began her nursing career nearly seven years ago. Sparked by negative comments on social media about mask wearing and social distancing, the nurse-turned-patient began journaling her experiences with the virus on Facebook. As her oxygen levels began to drop and fevers began to rise, Thompson continued reaching out to the public, advocating mask-wearing, handwashing, social distancing and being kind to one another.
Her story and words of advice have been featured on national and local news outlets.
“So, I am scared every day. It’s very real because I have seen people who are up laughing with their family one day – and the next day they’re on a ventilator. So, it’s become very real,” Thompson told 19 News.
During her interviews and on her Facebook posts, Thompson pleads with everyone to wear a mask, making sure both the mouth and nose are covered to reduce risks.
She stresses the importance of handwashing and sanitizing.
“Keep hand sanitizer in the door cup holder or console cup holder of your vehicle,” Thompson said. “Before you touch anything in your car, sanitize your hands!”
Thompson emphasizes the need to limit social situations and gatherings.
In a recent Facebook post, Thompson wrote, “I have not seen my parents, sister, nephew, grandpa, aunt, cousins, or friends in 28 days. I have not seen my husband in 9 days. My son is home from college for the first time in 4 months. I won’t see him before he goes back. I celebrated my 39th Birthday on COVID Day 6 alone at home. I celebrated Thanksgiving isolated in a hospital room. Social distancing is not pleasant, but sometimes necessary. “
In addition to mask-wearing, handwashing and social distancing, Kate also underscores the importance of being kind to one another.
“Again – this is our now – it’s not our forever,” she said. “Be kind and take care of each other.”
Still unable to breathe on her own, Thompson’s experience as a critical care nurse working on the frontlines of COVID-19 makes her fight with the virus especially difficult. Thompson said she is fighting to get better so she can see her family again, so she can return to work, so she can help others survive.
She is overwhelmed with the amount of support she’s received through her Facebook posts.
“I cannot express the gratitude I have – the happiness, comfort, and just love I feel from all of you!” Thompson said on Facebook. “You guys have been wonderful, encouraging me, uplifting me. You guys have helped keep me in the fight.”
Married to Troy, mom to Ryan, and dog mom to three, Thompson, 39, of Massillon, will continue spreading her message of mask-wearing, handwashing, social distancing and kindness as long as she can. As of now, all media interviews are on hold.
To offer Thompson support and to see more of her thoughts on COVID-19 protection as she fights her way through the virus, visit https://www.facebook.com/kate.thompson08.