North Texas

Denton Nurse Helps Save HGTV Star's Life

Ryan Read is used to life as a nurse in day surgery, but this week she suddenly found herself in the national spotlight for an observation she made more than two years ago.

In 2013, the Denton Regional Medical Center registered nurse was enjoying her day off by watching a marathon of the show Flip or Flop on HGTV.

After several episodes though, she noticed a lump on host Tarek El Moussa's throat that just didn't look right.

"I wasn't looking and don't watch TV to assess people. It just kept catching my eye, and I felt it needed to be brought to his attention," said Read.

So, she emailed the show's producers, and when El Moussa got checked out, he was eventually diagnosed with stage 2 thyroid cancer.

El Moussa, who hosts the show with his wife, has since been treated and is now in remission.

Back in 2013, Read was invited onto the show The Doctors where she got to meet the HGTV hosts personally and said she's even kept in touch with them since.

However, it was a complete surprise when the topic came back up this week.

"Yesterday, I show up to work, no makeup, hair in a ponytail, and 30 minutes into my shift I'm hearing people want to do interviews," said Read.

Apparently spurred by a recent interview, El Moussa's battle with cancer has become a topic of viral discussion over the past several days, and national news organizations, including NBC's Nightly News with Lester Holt, began reaching out to Read to hear more about her story.

Caught off guard, Read said her fellow nurses came to her aide by scrapping together hair and makeup supplies to get her camera-ready fast.

She said Wednesday that she's quickly becoming recognized as "THE Ryan" by doctors and co-workers in the halls of the hospital.

Read said she has just tried to have some fun with the attention, though, and that the real important part of the whole story is that El Moussa is healthy today after getting the help he needed.

"I was just doing what nurses do," Read said.

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