Being in the hospital is challenging, but realizing that you'll likely never return home again is heartbreaking. Nurse Brenda Buurstra does everything she possibly can to help her patients, especially when going home is no longer an option for them.
Brenda's been a nurse for years and has a secret weapon. One that no one knew about until recently.
The Kalamazoo, Michigan, nurse was caring for patient Robert Olson. He was admitted to the hospital after experiencing difficulty breathing.
A hardworking man, Robert didn't even retire until he was 85 years old. But this time around, the family knew that something was different about Robert's symptoms, his daughter Roberta Lytle told WWMT.
Robert ended up in hospice care knowing that he couldn't receive a pacemaker due to his age. When he was first rushed to Bronson Hospital, he was placed until the care of Nurse Brenda.
Roberta and Robert were watching a show about Pat Boone and when Nurse Brenda walked in, he breathlessly informed her that he didn't like the star, but really enjoyed one particular song Pat Boone's daughter sang. Wouldn't you know it, Nurse Brenda knew part of the song!
"I'm just blown away because the woman's got a voice."
Nurse Brenda started singing part of Robert's favorite song "You Light Up My Life." Robert could barely speak because of his deteriorating health, but he responded to Nurse Brenda.
Because Nurse Brenda didn't know all of the words, she promised Robert that she'd print out the lyrics and return the next day to sing to him. Roberta and her father couldn't believe it!
"Even through his little venting mask he was wearing, his eyes lit up. His whole countenance changed, and he had a big smile. You could tell that song lit him up. Literally 'You Light Up My Life,' that song really just lit him up. You could tell it touched his heart."
Roberta videotaped Nurse Brenda and her dad in action. Even though the family didn't hold out hope that he would ever leave the hospital, he ended up mustering enough strength and power to sing right along with Nurse Brenda.
One week later, he was discharged from hospice care and headed home.
"I have sung to patients for 14 years, and this is just the first time I got caught ... To make that awful hospital stay they're going through just a little bit better, a little bit brighter. I wanted to be on a team of positive people, and that's what we have here at Bronson. I'm not the only nurse who goes above and beyond at Bronson. This is what we do every day."
Roberta shared the video on YouTube where the heartwarming interaction has gone viral. If you listen closely, you can even hear Robert trying to sing with her at the very end.