AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – Standing bedside next to her instructor, Olivia Current could be just another University of Colorado nursing student, but she is not.
“When I was 16, I was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, and when I was 17, I had a bone marrow transplant, and at 18, my kidneys failed, and at 20, I had a kidney transplant,” she said.
Her instructor, Marion Hufford is not just any teacher
“I had just started working as a nurse,” Hufford said.
That is where their story starts, on the oncology floor at Children’s Hospital Colorado.
“My whole life was revolved around the hospital,” Current said.
Her treatment meant watching classmates celebrate senior year from her hospital bed or missing out entirely.
“I missed homecoming and prom,” she said.” I just remember being like I literally never want to see this again,” Current said.
Hufford was one of her very first nurses.
“It just broke my heart because you work so hard for them to feel well and get out the door and she wasn’t able to go and I just remember that impacting me,” she said.
By the time Current was able to leave the hospital for good, her nursing team was more like family. Her feelings about the future changed.
“It was an automatic yes, this is what I wanted to do but it took a while to get there,” Current said.
A decision that was reinforced nearly seven years later, in a classroom at CU nursing school.
“Well at first I didn’t recognize her because she had hair,” Hufford laughed.
She was there working as teaching assistant at the CU College of Nursing.
“It just like clicked for both of us, and literally everyone started crying and we hugged,” Current said.
A reunion they say shows a side of their job not many get to see.
“Nursing, there is no other job like that, there’s no other place where you can have that kind of connection,” Hufford said.
Karen Morfitt joined the CBS4 team as a reporter in 2013. She covers a variety of stories in and around the Denver metro area. Connect with her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter @karenmorfitt or email her tips.