Nicole Barlanti has been working as a nurse on Three North at Mayo Clinic Hospital in Florida for the past six years. But the young wife and mother of two hasn’t been there lately, as she’s recovering from Stage IV glioblastoma. Her doctors discovered her brain tumor this past January, and she says she's been missing her "Three North family" ever since. "I want to be there working," she told Florida's First Coast News. "I really love my job, but I can't right now."
Since Barlanti can't be there with them until the doctors give her the green light to return to work, her Three North family decided they'd come to her. They surprised her last week with a flash mob performance -- Mayo Clinic style -- to the song "Roar" by Katy Perry in the backyard of her mother-in-law's house. "We work in oncology so we see this every day," fellow nurse Amanda Pendleton, who organized the flash mob, told First Coast News. "But to have it happen to one of your own … is completely devastating. So I thought, 'How cool would it be to surprise her with the Three North family?'" (Pretty darn cool, if you ask us.)
To make it happen, and so Barlanti wouldn't suspect anything, First Coast News reports she was "lured" out of the house ostensibly to see a deer in the backyard. Instead of a deer, however, what Barlanti saw was three of her Three North colleagues "gallop from hiding" (their words, not ours) and start dancing right there in the grass. "I walk outside, the music is playing and I'm shocked," Barlanti says. Then, "right as the song hit the chorus," 20 more of Barlanti's colleagues appeared to join the fun. "Of course, that's when I started crying," Barlanti says.
While they may not have set out to make her cry, Pendleton says they did want Barlanti to know that Three North is "still there and still love her." Which is a sentiment and a gesture that Barlanti says she needed. "It makes you forget all the other stress you have," she tells First Coast News. "All the worries, everything."
You can watch the full flash mob performance below. And you can keep up with Barlanti's road to recovery by following her Pray4Nicole Facebook page. Then keep up with us by sharing your thoughts with a comment below.