In October 1960, I was admitted to Akron Children’s Hospital for 6 months. I was 5 years old and had congestive heart failure as a result of rheumatic fever.
I was in an old-fashioned oxygen tent and had strict bed rest. I remember the day I was being admitted. My mom was sitting by my bedside crying because the admitting doctor was telling her how sick I was. He told her not to expect me to live through the night. I am 59 years old.
Several years ago, I had the honor of thanking my cardiologist, Dr. John Kramer, in person for what he did for me. I approached him at a conference at Akron Children’s. I told him that I had been his patient many years ago.
I was very proud to tell him I was a nurse at Akron Children’s Hospital – my tribute to the excellent care I received as a child.
I loved the nurses at Children’s, especially the night-shift nurses who would take me out to the nurses’ station and feed me cookies. I couldn’t go home for Christmas so Santa came to my room.
I knew I wanted to be a nurse after that, and especially a nurse at Children’s. When I graduated from the University of Akron in 1988, there was a nursing shortage. Competition was big for the new nurses.
I applied at all the hospitals, and as soon as I walked into the NICU at Akron Children’s, I knew I had found “my place.” I accepted the job and I’ve never left the NICU since that day.
I’ll graduate with my master of science degree in nursing in December from Regis University in Denver, Colo. My goal is to continue in nursing leadership in a manager position at Children’s.
I love being an Akron Children’s Hospital nurse. I’m proud to be a member of this organization with all the improvements and growth I’ve witnessed throughout my career. We truly have a culture of caring.
Now on to 125 more years!
As part of our year-long anniversary celebration, we’re telling the story of Akron Children’s through the eyes of past and present employees, doctors, donors, volunteers and patient families. We encourage you to share your own memories and stories about us.
About Evelyn Samples
Evelyn Samples, RN, is the assistant nurse manager at Akron Children's neonatal intensive care unit at Akron General Medical Center.