Confined to a hospital bed with an IV in his arm, a 16-year-old teenager finds solace in his guitar.
Unable to sleep, he decides to use his musical talent to write a song. As he strums on his guitar, he carefully avoids the tubes and bandages in his left arm. These hardly get in the way of his big heart.
As the call button hangs by his bedside, we’re reminded this boy isn’t the only one awake in the middle of the night. So are his nurses.
He sings, “You’re a nurse… you’re the best one in the universe,” as a tribute to the care provided during his stay.
Nathan explains, “While I was in the hospital, I was bored, so I wrote my nurse a song. Thank you to all the doctors and nurses who made me better.”
“I love Nathan’s song for his nurses, of course,” says Patty Wallace, Nathan’s mother, “But I loved even more seeing how the nurses enjoyed it and took the time to really listen to Nathan and enjoy his personality. People who are in a hurry don’t do that.”
If one of the nurses had trouble finding his vein to place a needle, Nathan would say, “Don’t worry about it, you’re still a good nurse.”
Wallace was admitted to McLane Children’s Hospital for a MRSA staph germ that doesn’t get better with the first-line antibiotics that usually cure staph infections. It all started when Nathan skinned his knee at camp. The knee appeared to heal, but he woke up three days later with severe abdominal pain from an infected lymph node. His parents suspected appendicitis or a hernia, but it was staph.
“Every nurse was very professional and personable,” says Mrs. Wallace. “I was thankful and impressed that they were able to interact with Nathan and make him feel at ease while still giving close attention to his medical needs.”
Despite the attentive care, time was passing and Nathan’s condition was not improving. Nerves escalated, and members of Wallace’s church congregation where his dad, Randy Wallace, is the senior pastor met to pray together.
“Nathan is a happy-go-lucky kid, but when he and I heard that he would need surgery if he wasn’t better by the fourth day in the hospital, we both just felt overwhelmed,” says Mrs. Wallace. “That’s when we asked everyone we knew in our church and school to pray.”
Shortly after the prayers, Dr. Danny Little, chief of pediatric surgery, discovered that the antibiotics began working and they didn’t have to perform surgery.
“It was truly a miracle that when Nathan was only a few hours from surgery to remove infected lymph nodes, he suddenly started getting better after three days of no progress,” says Nathan’s mother, “I felt that Dr. Little took Nathan’s case very seriously. I believe the intelligent care Nathan received saved his limbs and his life.”
But this little miracle in the Wallace family has another layer.
Nathan contributed his musical talents to help raise money before McLane Children’s Hospital Scott & White was even built.
He was the drummer featured in the original video by Avery Ling, “Let Us Live.” This video highlighted children who have received care and helped to raise money in 2011.
“I have known since the day that Nathan was born that he had a special purpose. He has an ability to connect with people because he sincerely cares about them.”
Even though he was glad to be home, Nathan’s mom said he missed the hospital staff because he is a people person and appreciated them so much. She says he is using that energy to start writing thank you notes to them.
“I told Nathan that watching the doctors and nurses was memorable,” she says, “Because those people came to work every day giving their very best, not just getting by.”