Healthcare Heroes: Wanda Timbs Barrett, Vanderbilt Wilson County Hospital

Healthcare Heroes

I would like to nominate Wanda Timbs Barrett for healthcare hero. She is a Respiratory Therapist at Vanderbilt Wilson County Hospital. As a Respiratory Therapist, she is somewhat of an unsung hero because many people don’t understand the impact respiratory therapists have on the battle with Covid.

As a respiratory therapist at a smaller Vanderbilt hospital, or as the workers call themselves at Vanderbilt Wilson County “little Vandy”, she is involved with almost every Covid patient that comes through the hospital doors. She applies some sort of oxygen device from basic oxygen through a cannula placed in the nose to more complex care like placing a patient on a ventilator and managing the ventilator. She gives breathing treatment and draws blood all that are essential in the patient’s battle to recover from Covid.

What makes Wanda extra special is that she helped others battle at the same time she watched her own brother battle Covid. He became critically ill and was placed in the ICU at Vanderbilt Wilson County. She spent her shifts at work treating the Covid patients she was assigned to and then instead of sitting down to take a lunch break she went to sit in the room with her brother holding his hand and encouraging him that soon he would recover and be able to get the tube out of his throat and he would breathe on his own again. Her brother’s battle continued for over 8 months ultimately ending in complete recovery. Wanda faced each day with a smile on her face as she continued to help others battle Covid.

She continues to work as a Respiratory Therapist at Vanderbilt Wilson County Hospital today and comes to work with a smile on her face treating each and every Covid patient like they are one of her own family members.

Submitted by Libby Ross

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