SHREVEPORT, La. — It all came down to 15 minutes.
That’s how long doctors gave critical care nurse Nanette Foster to try one last thing before they put patient, Bill Broadway, on a ventilator.
“I heard conversations being had among the doctors and the other medical personnel. And Nanette said, ‘Nobody’s put him on his belly. Give me 15 minutes with him,’” said Broadway.
So what led to this near death situation? COVID-19.
“Why did it affect a 45-year-old, healthy male, when the science they had at that point said it shouldn’t?” Broadway said.
Broadway tested positive for COVID-19 on Nov. 16. At first, his symptoms were mild.
“The onset of bilateral pneumonia came on very suddenly, and was not something I recognized,” said Broadway.
But one of his sons had just graduated from nursing school at Louisiana Tech. And he did recognize the sudden symptom.
“My texts were starting to get scrambled as the days went on,” Broadway explained. “And I started, in his words, not making any sense.”
Five days after his initial diagnosis, Broadway’s two sons called for an ambulance. He was taken to Christus Bossier for tests then transferred to Christus Highland.
He was disoriented and his oxygen level continued to decrease.
Doctors were about to put him on a ventilator, until Foster came up with a plan.
“I remember saying, ‘I have one more thing I’d like to try,’” said Foster.
“She flipped me over on my stomach and got my bed situated. And she went to pounding on my back,” said Broadway.
The doctors, concerned they would lose Broadway, gave Foster 15 minutes to get his oxygen levels up. It worked.
“He responded well to it,” said Foster.
“Four or five days later they said, ‘You’re a long way from being out of the woods, but you turned a corner we didn’t expect you to turn.’ So that meant a lot to me at that point,” said Broadway.
And now Broadway has a message for those who think COVID-19 is not a threat.
“This is very real. I don’t know any other way to say it other than I’ve lived through it. Only by the grace of God and good people that had a no quit attitude and hearts full of love. That’s why I’m here.”
The team who helped Bill Broadway survive and recover from COVID-19. He sends his heartfelt thanks to all.
Nurses: Nanette Foster (the nurse that suggested proning), Priscilla Trammell (other key RN he named), Carly Smith, Cynthia Carter, Darius Riomalos, Jennifer Ninh, Madison Graham, Brittani Jackson, Sister Suny Augustine, Ethan Branch, Demarcus Pool, Joseph Omotehinse
Physical Therapy: Jay Sessions
Respiratory Therapy: Paul Pierce (prayed for him a lot); Mary Pierce, Lisa Myers, John Frazier, Meagan Maness, RT
Clinical Director: Tarrayah Talton