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Kansas City COVID-19 survivor surprises care team with heartfelt thank you

Peterson hugs nurse
Posted at 4:38 PM, Nov 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-04 17:38:03-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo — As rain rolled into the Kansas City area Friday, Stephanie Peterson took the opportunity to provide a ray of sunshine for Saint Luke’s employees on the Plaza.

Almost a year to the day after her COVID-19 diagnosis, Peterson planned a surprise visit to her care team to show them the difference they made in her life.

“I don’t really remember a whole lot of it. It’s kind of all a blur,” Peterson said addressing doctors and nurses on the floor. “But I can never say thank you enough.”

Peterson brought her husband and children along with her. Last year, they spent weeks apart while she was on a ventilator and in physical therapy.

“I constantly have it in the back of my mind,” she said. “How different their lives would look if I wouldn’t have come home.”

The thought of loss fresh in her mind after losing her father to COVID during this time two years ago. Peterson drew parallels between their experiences.

“It was almost too coincidental,” she said. “I can’t help but think he was with me. He said no you are not leaving yet. It’s not your time. You are not doing this.”

With nurses and technicians who were willing to brush and braid her hair after hours, keeping in constant communication with her husband, Peterson credits her survival to them.

“I just, I feel like they saved my life here,” she said. “And I wanted them to know how grateful I am.”