This is the week that we designate as the time we celebrate what we are thankful for. This year, in particular, I have never been so thankful. Yet, I’m unable to express this gratitude properly.

I can send a card or write a letter to the editor in hopes it will be seen, but these gestures, although meaningful, seem to fall short of what is appropriate. Some things just need to be said face to face, with a hug, or maybe even a shared tear. Which is impossible right now.

In July, I went into the Cheyenne Regional Medical Center’s emergency room with severe COVID-19 symptoms and was immediately intubated, placed on a ventilator and transferred to the ICU. I was in and out of consciousness for three weeks, and was never really cognizant enough to grasp a full understanding of what I had been through before I was transferred to a long-term facility in another state.

Now, I am confident that I am alive today because of the care that I received from the staff at CRMC. And even though you are all so overwhelmed by what we have created for you, making it impossible for me to thank you properly, know that this Thanksgiving, I hold you close to my heart.

I am eternally grateful for your resilience to continue to show up for your patients every day; for your patience while we turn public health crisis into political quarrels; for your care, regardless of our beliefs; for your strength to balance your work and your families, and for the comfort, dignity, and compassion you show your patients at the most vulnerable times of their lives. I am so grateful that you walk among us.

But mostly, thank you for saving my life.

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