Molly Riese was looking forward to having dinner with her parents before work one night last February. But the prospect of a pleasant evening quickly turned "nightmarish" as Molly drove to her parents' house and suddenly came face-to-face with a car speeding toward her in her lane. The driver was attempting to pass another vehicle. "I had maybe a second of reaction time," Molly says. "We hit head-on."
Molly's car was crushed, and she was trapped inside. "It took them two hours to cut me out of the car," she says. "I was knocked out on impact but was otherwise conscious the whole time." Amazingly, even as battered as she was, Molly began thinking about her work as a nurse at Mayo Clinic Hospital in Rochester. "I was still determined that I was going to make it to work that night," she says. "I obviously knew that I'd broken both of my femurs and several other bones, because I could see it. But I was trying to convince myself that it wasn't real."
Molly did make it to Mayo Clinic that night, just not in the way she'd hoped. After first responders freed her from the wreckage, she was airlifted to Mayo Clinic Hospital's Saint Marys campus, where she would learn the full extent of her injuries. "I broke 20 bones and had six surgeries within the first 10 days that I was there," she says. "I was in the hospital for a month."
During that month in the hospital, she was surrounded by nurses — and not just those on duty. Molly says her nursing colleagues on Station 5-2 at Mayo Clinic Hospital, Methodist Campus, were nothing short of "incredible" in the support they showed her. "They were by my bedside the entire time," she says. "They set up a calendar of who was going to stay with me overnight so that I would always have someone with me, which was incredibly awesome." They also brought food, balloons, and "everything else imaginable," Molly says. "They've just been the most supportive co-workers. Even my mom, in her 40 years of working for Mayo, has said, 'Your co-workers are among the best we have here.'"
And the support didn't stop as she started to get back on her feet. Molly's co-workers are hosting a benefit in August to help ease some of the financial pain that accompanied the accident. "They just make me feel so loved," Molly says. "They've played a huge role in getting me through my recovery. Without them, and without everyone else I've had throughout this, I would've had a much tougher road to recovery."
To learn more about the benefit on Friday, Aug. 21, at the Zumbro Valley Golf Course in Mantorville, Minnesota, contact Allyssa Rehm at email@example.com or visit the Molly Riese's Benefit page on Facebook.
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