Hadassah Willig has held onto a potent memory for 25 years: The nurse who not only helped her emerge from a coma at age 5 but also served as an inspiration for her own career in nursing.
Friday, Willig was reunited with Maxine Hogan, who traveled from Coral Springs, Florida to greet her former pediatric patient, now a medical-surgical nurse at Long Island Jewish Valley Stream Hospital, a division of the Northwell Health system.
“I searched all over for her, everywhere,” said Willig, 31, who lives in Queens, and was excited, finally, to see her favorite nurse again. “I remember everything about being in the hospital. I remember Maxine. I haven’t forgotten any of it.”
“She made such an impression on me,” said Willig, a graduate of the former St. Vincent’s School of Nursing in Queens. The institution is now known as St. Paul’s School of Nursing.
Hogan, 58, a pediatric nurse at the former Schneider Children’s Hospital in New Hyde Park, was in charge of a desperately ill little girl 25 years ago. Doctors had diagnosed encephalitis, inflammation of the brain. The life-threatening condition caused young Willig to drift in and out of a coma. She was hospitalized for weeks.
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