Patient Says Thanks … One Year Later

One year after a dramatic rescue from cardiac failure, 19-year-old Nichelle “Nickie” Fisher came back to NorthBay VacaValley Hospital—to say thank you.

Accompanied by her mother, Dottie Mulligan-Fisher and a small army of family friends, Nickie set about sharing her gratitude—with certificates of appreciation, a spread of refreshments and lots of heart-felt hugs in the cafeteria.

Nickie is in end-stage renal failure and has been on dialysis since she was 17. On Dec. 14, 2011, her potassium levels rose dangerously high and she went into cardiac arrest, her mother recalled. Dottie dialed 9-1-1, and the Vacaville Police were first to arrive, quickly followed by Vacaville firefighters and paramedics. Compressions were started, and soon Nickie arrived at the VacaValley Emergency Department, where Emergency Room Technician Allison Pearson took over the compressions, and Dr. Paresh Pravin and Dr. Joseph Dane stepped in.

Her mother remembers that Nickie was shocked 13 times, and that resuscitation continued for an exhausting 93 minutes. “I wasn’t about to give up on this girl,” remembers Allison, one of many who came to the reception Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, at VacaValley Hospital. “I was determined she was going to make it.”

And she did. Dottie had nothing but kind words to say for everyone who touched her daughter’s life during the recovery. “Everyone here at VacaValley was so kind and thoughtful. I just can’t say thank you enough,” she told the crowd, tearing up. “I wouldn’t have Nickie today if it weren’t for all of you.”

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