During her 44 years of nursing, Lynn Bartos often wondered what happened to her patients. "When you get to be my age, you look back and think: Did all that stuff I do matter? Did it make a difference? Are people OK?" she told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
While receiving infusion treatments for arthritis at the Froedtert & the Medical College in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, 66-year-old Bartos was finally able to follow up on someone she’d treated years earlier. The nurse administering her IV was Nicole Krahn, who Bartos had treated at the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, The Associated Press reported.
Krahn developed a twisted small intestine shortly after birth and had to be fed intravenously after part of it was removed. During her treatments, young Krahn grew attached to Bartos and called her "Sweet Lynney.” For her part, Bartos called Krahn “NeeNee.”
Over the summer, Bartos made the connection between “NeeNee” and the nurse treating her arthritis. "I said, 'You're NeeNee!' And she said, 'Yes, I am,' and we suddenly realized we had this connection that went way back to her being a toddler," Bartos recalled. "And I'm like, 'That toddler is now taking care of me.' And I think I spent the rest of the day crying during the infusion appointment.”
Bartos said she always had a good feeling about Krahn, now 30, even before she made the connection.
"I think somewhere inside of me there was something saying, 'There's something familiar about that young woman,'" she said.
Bartos said she wondered about Krahn over the years. "It was absolute gift to me to reconnect with Nicole," she said. "That's how I look at it, that I was given a gift to know that 44 years of nursing, I did make a difference.”