‘Pull The Plug': Local COVID-19 Survivor, Family Thank Nurse Who Wouldn't Give Up

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National Nurses Week 2021 will be celebrated May 6 through May 12. May 12 coincides with the birthday of Florence Nightingale, who is known as the founder of modern nursing.

This year’s theme is Frontline Warrior.

For one nurse at Baylor, Scott & White -- Plano, this year’s National Nurses Week started with a special surprise from one of her former patients, Angelo Ugge. He and his family went to the hospital recently to thank her and the team for saving his life as he battled COVID-19.

“He understands that it’s not just one person,” said Aleya Campos, ICU RN at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Plano. “He realizes that it’s a team effort and it means so much that he takes time to come and thank us over and over.”

Ugge was at the hospital for six weeks, and part of that time was spent on a ventilator.

When he was taken off the ventilator, Campos asked him what he needed. Ugge’s response was heartbreaking.

“Pull the plug,” Ugge said. “She was trying to help me. I told her to tell my family to pull the plug. That was my sentiment at that time. I thought that was the easiest way out of the situation.”

Campos, without skipping a beat, responded quickly.

“Not a chance. We are fighting this together,” she said.

Ugge and his family went back to the hospital to present Campos and the team with a plaque of heartfelt thanks.

“I feel excellent now. I’m just thankful she didn’t give up on me. I called her my guardian angel. She came and helped me at my roughest possible time,” Ugge said.

The reunion, full of masked smiles, was one to remember for everyone.

Susan Moats, Chief Nursing Officer at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center - Plano said this is also a time of reflection for nursing personnel.

“I think it’s a great kickoff as we head into this Nurses Week. As we reflect on why we came into this profession. We have had a really challenging year and we are looking forward to this week to celebrate the profession and really go back to our core and our why,” Moats said.

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