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Nurse initiates community fundraiser for ICU co-worker injured in motorcycle-car accident

Hospital news | Thursday, July 14, 2011
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Contact: Mardi Ford

Intensive Care: Anne Nilsson looks over the quilt she is raffling for fellow ICU RN John Sanders who was injured July 2 in a motorcycle-car accident. The BQ II design is “Ain’t Nobody Here but Us Chickens” by Maple Island Quilts. Look for Nilsson and the quilt at the Farmer’s Market and the Union County Fair.

The most passionate nurses are - by nature – caretakers. So when Annie Nilsson, RN, heard co-worker John Sanders, RN, had been in a motorcycle-car crash over the Fourth of July weekend, her gut reaction was: “What can I do?” Both she and Sanders work in the Intensive Care Unit at Grande Ronde Hospital. Sanders has worked at GRH since 2004; Nilsson since 1985.

“John is a good man – a family man. And he’s part of our ICU family. So I want to help out his family,” said Nilsson.

John and his wife Kim have six children. On July 2, John was on his way from their home in Union, headed to work at the Hospital when a vehicle suddenly pulled out in front of his motorcycle. Though an experienced rider, John was unable to avoid hitting the car broadside. As his bike slid under the car, John catapulted over it sustaining multiple, bone-crushing injuries. Life Flight transported John directly from the scene to OHSU in Portland where he has already undergone two surgeries. His doctors have told him his recovery could take a year. At this point, they are still unsure about any permanent damage.

In order to help John and his family, Nilsson looked to another of her passions – quilting. She decided to raffle a very special quilt she pieced and quilted by machine called, “Ain’t Nobody Here but Us Chickens,” a BQ II design by Maple Island Quilts.

The quilt will hang in the Grande Ronde Hospital Intensive Care Unit until one lucky winner is chosen on Thanksgiving Day – an appropriate day for those family, friends and co-workers who know John and are so thankful he survived.

“John is a great guy and a great nurse. We just want him to get better and come back to us,” said ICU Manager Nena Jones.

In addition to selling tickets to GRH employees, Nilsson will display the quilt during the Union County Fair in August at the GRH Auxiliary Booth. She has also rented a space at the Saturday Farmer’s Market. Beginning this Saturday, July 16, Nilsson and the quilt will be at the Market on alternate Saturdays through the season. Tickets are $1.00 each or 6 tickets for $5.00.

Monetary donations may also be made at any Community Bank Branch under the “Donation Account for John Sanders”.