Biden claims he had an ICU nurse whisper in his ear and breathe into him to make sure there was a ‘human connection’
- President Joe Biden gushed awkwardly about the good treatment he received from Walter Reed’s nurses at a healthcare event Tuesday
- Biden had been hospitalized in 1988 for double aneurysms
- He remembered a nurse whispering in his ear and breathing on him so he would feel a “human connection”
President Joe Biden gushed Tuesday about the good treatment he received from Walter Reed’s nurses at a health event in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
At the beginning of his speech, Biden gave a shout-out to nurses and how well he was taken care of when he was hospitalized in 1988 for two life-threatening brain aneurysms.
“I had a nurse named Pearl Nelson. She came in and did things I don’t think you learn in nursing school,” he said, laughing. “She whispered in my ear, I couldn’t understand it, but she whispered and leaned forward. And actually breathe on me to make sure there was a connection, a human connection.”
Nelson, Biden said, even went home and grabbed a pillow from her bed because the then-US Senator didn’t find the one assigned to him very comfortable.
He told the medical professionals in the crowd, “You doctors are good, but if there are angels in heaven, it’s the nurses, men and women.”
President Joe Biden gushed Tuesday about the good treatment he received from Walter Reed’s nurses at a health event in Virginia Beach, Virginia
He opened his speech by directly addressing medical professionals in the crowd. “You doctors are good, but if there are angels in heaven, it’s the nurses, men and women”
‘You know why?’ he asked. “You let us live, nurses make you want to live.”
“I’m not kidding,” he continued. “You lie there in the ICU, which I’ve been doing for a long time, and you look at those devices. And you know the line goes flat that it’s over. But you just get tired, you don’t care.’
He credited Walter Reed’s nursing staff for wanting to bring him back to life.
“You are so underestimated,” Biden added, after also praising the nurses who stood by his son Beau’s bedside as he was dying of glioblastoma.
Biden told a similar story when he pledged $100 million in US funding for health care to a hospital in East Jerusalem serving the Palestinian population during its trip to the Middle East in July.
He then asked, “Are there any nurses in the room?”
“Because if not, I’m going home,” the president said with a laugh.
He remembered how his first wife and little daughter died in a car accident at Christmas time.
‘And my boys were trapped in a vehicle for three hours when a tractor trailer hit them,” Biden said. “The doctor saved their lives, but the nurses made them want to live.”
The president talked about his own health care challenges, the double aneurysms topped with an embolus.
“I joked that the reason they went in twice to take the top of my head off is because they couldn’t find a brain the first time,” Biden said.
In a more serious tone, he added, “I don’t think you nurses are appreciated long enough.”
He recalled being in intensive care and said he had never made these comments publicly before.
“And you look at the monitors and you know that if the line goes flat, you’re dead,” the president said. “But you just get tired, even if you’re not in pain, you just want to stop.”
“And the nurses at Walter Reed Hospital. Would come up, and they’d rub my face, they’d whisper in my ear. They would come close and tell me it will be ok. They have made a difference in my life,” he said.
Biden devoted most of Tuesday’s speech to warning that Republicans wanted to cut Medicaid and interfere with Obamacare to meet their budgetary demands.
The president has spent weeks taunting Republicans over Senator Rick Scott’s plan to “break” legislation every five years, which Biden said included Medicare and Social Security.