Nicole Krahn spent her early childhood receiving treatments at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin several times weekly to correct a condition that threatened to stunt her growth. She received intravenous nourishment for several years at the hospital, and was cared for by a nurse she liked who she called Sweet Lynnie.
Now, Krahn, a 30-year-old RN, works at an arthritis paint treatment clinic near Milwaukee. Recently she began caring for 66-year-old Lynn Bartos, who spends three to five hours every five weeks at the clinic for arthritis treatment, according to Milwaukee Sentinel reporter Jim Stingl.
One day, Krahn asked Bartos what she did for a living. Bartos said she was a registered nurse and once worked at Children’s Hospital. Then she looked at Krahn’s name tag and realized who she was.
“Nini?” Bartos asked. Indeed Krahn’s nickname was Nini when she was a child — and the women realized that in the 1980s, Bartos served as Krahn’s primary ambulatory nurse at Children’s. Now their roles were reversed, with Krahn now caring for Bartos, according to a recent article Stingl wrote for the Milwaukee Sentinel.
In 1988, Bartos was even featured with her 2-year-old patient Nicole “Nini” Frye on the cover of Chidren’s Nurse magazine, Stingl wrote. Bartos, a nurse for 44 years, told Stingl she often wonders if she has “a lasting effect in the lives of her countless patients,” according to the article.
“When you get to be my age, you look back and think: Did all that stuff I do matter?” she said in the article. “Did it make a difference? Are people OK?”
Stingl wrote that Krahn “grew up to exceed the expectations of doctors who thought her height would be stunted and she would have neurological deficiencies. She credits the care she received from nurses like Lynn in shaping her own career plans.”
Bartos told Stingl reuniting with Krahn made her feel “so good.”
“What I did mattered,” she said in the article, “and now here’s someone who can follow in my footsteps and other nurses my age as we reach retirement.”
To comment, email [email protected]