In honor of National Nurses Week, we spotlight one nurse and her journey from death and then back to life.
Nina Fatica was just 20-years-old when her life abruptly ended, but with the help of four coworkers at UPMC Hamot, she now continues to help save other lives.
UPMC Nurse Nina Fatica is now 22-years-old, but we’d like to take you back to when she was just 20. It was January 2nd, 2018. Fatica says it was a normal day making a visit to see her mother at work then heading to work a night shift at UPMC Hamot on the seventh floor; medical oncology.
This is when the unexpected happened.
“All of a sudden I started to feel warm. I went to take my sweatshirt off and that’s all I remember.”
Her eyes rolled to the back of her head and she slammed down to the ground; lifeless.
The moment terrifying for her coworkers as they were ending their shift.
Jennifer Williams tells us, “We heard somebody scream, ‘Get the crash cart!’ I looked down the hall and see Nina on the floor.”
Nicky Fredil started compressions right away as other nurses joined in to help.
“That was probably the scariest moment in my whole nursing career, and I’ve been a nurse for six years. I’ve done chest compressions a million times. It never compares to that time. It is very different when its someone you know.”
While her coworkers fought for her life, Fatica describes the experience.
“I heard music and it was the most peaceful I’ve ever felt.”
For about two minutes, Fatica says she had an out-of-body experience, watching as the nurses tried to resuscitate her.
She says the moment reminds her how fast life can be taken.
As far as being scared of death, she sums it up best by saying, “I don’t want to live my life in fear that something is going to happen to me every day. I just keep moving forward, and thankful for each and every day that I get here.”
Fatica says low blood pressure and a low heartbeat were contributing factors.
She now has a pacemaker and is now working in the trauma neuro ICU department at UPMC Hamot.