It was a day they’ll never forget. Ted and Julie went to the hospital for a cut finger but never expected to hear what nurses told them next.
In August, Ted and Julie Neitzke went to the Aurora Medical Center Emergency room in Grafton. Ted said he collapsed in front of his home and cut his finger.
“I fainted or passed out, don’t know why,” Ted said.
Meanwhile, inside the Emergency Room, Nurse Tara Strong and Technician Chris Swift were busy with patients coming in and out.
“There was a 41-year-old with chest pain and I walked out to get him,” Nurse Strong said.
But Swift later noticed something strange.
“Chris had said, ‘hey did you notice the patient in room 10 has the same last name as the person in room 11?’,” Nurse Strong remembered.
The patient with chest pain was Jon Neitzke in room 10 and in room 11 was his father, Ted.
“Jon didn’t mention that his father was here or anything and his father didn’t mention anything,” Nurse Strong said.
Because neither had mentioned their family member was in the hospital, the nurses decided not to say anything, until minutes later when things took a turn for the worse. Julie and Ted could hear there was something wrong happening in the next room.
“I heard all the bells and whistles go off,” Julie said.
That’s the moment when Nurse Strong decided to go into Ted and Julie’s room.
“Do you have a son named Jon,” Nurse Strong said.
“I said, ‘Oh yeah! Did you go to school with him?'” Julie Neitzke responded. “And she said ‘what’s his birth date?’ And, I stood up. And, I was like oh you don’t ask that, something’s going on.”
Up until that moment, Ted and Julie had no idea their son was in the next room. Nurse Strong explained their son was having a heart attack and took them into the next room where doctors were trying to revive their son. For Julie, mother’s instincts kicked in.
“I was saying ‘momma’s here, I’m here, you got to come out of this’,” Julie said. “We need you back, you’re too important in our lives.”
But Jon didn’t make it. He died in the hospital.
“Even though the outcome wasn’t what we had hoped for, we were lucky that we were able to give them the opportunity to say bye to their son,” Technician Swift said.
Medically, Ted doesn’t know what made him fall, but deep down believes it was meant to happen.
“Everybody said, either an angel or God, pushed you down, Ted. For you to be there at the same time he was there,” Ted Neitzke said.
It was surprising for nurses too.
“What are the chances of them being in the same hospital, the same Emergency Department, in rooms right next to each other?” Swift said.
Even though the Neitzke’s said goodbye to their son, unexpectedly and too soon, they say it was divine grace.
“In my mind, I thought, I was there when he was there when he was born, and I was there when he died so that was a gift,” Julie said. “So God was there for me and Ted.”