After battling and surviving the effects of COVID-19, a former patient at St. Joseph’s Hospital has now joined the very workforce that played a pivotal role in her recovery.

Kristin Hinson was hit hard when she tested positive for COVID-19 during the pandemic.

“I got a fever and two days later I was in respiratory failure,” Hinson said. “I got pneumonia. I went septic.”

After spending several months at the VA Hospital, where she relied on oxygen support, Hinson was directed to the St. Joseph’s rehab team after experiencing a mild heart attack.

“There was a point where I thought I was never going to go back to work,” Hinson said, highlighting the severity of her condition at the time, marked by excessive sleep and dependence on supplemental oxygen.

The cardio-pulmonary rehabilitation team played a crucial role in getting Hinson back on her feet, working with her for months to wean her off supplemental oxygen.

“They really monitored how well I was doing; monitored how many liters of oxygen I was on; made sure that I was breathing right when I was exercising and not about to pass out on the floor,” she said.

The care she received ignited a passion for helping others, and she now works alongside the very staff who aided in her recovery as a registered nurse and clinical informaticist with Carondelet Health Network.

“It was an absolute welcome, you know,” Hinson said. “I mean, its just been fantastic. I really feel, I know this is really kind of sappy, but Im in the right place.”

Colleague Kelly Slife, a nurse at St. Joseph Pulmonary Rehab, expressed pride in Hinson’s journey, stating, Im so proud of her, couldnt be any more proud.”

In her newfound role, Hinson aims to pay it forward, hoping to inspire and assist others, just as her dedicated nurses did for her during her recovery.