Patient Says Thanks – One Year Later

One year after a dramatic rescue from cardiac failure, 19-year-old Nichelle “Nickie” Fisher came back to NorthBay VacaValley Hospital – to say thank you.

Accompanied by her mother, Dottie Mulligan-Fisher, as well as a small army of family friends, Nickie set about sharing her gratitude – with certificates of appreciation, a spread of refreshments and lots of heart-felt hugs in the cafeteria.thy 


Nickie is in end-stage renal failure and has been on dialysis since she was 17. On Dec. 14, 2011, her potassium levels rose dangerously high and she went into cardiac arrest, her mother recalled. Dottie dialed 9-1-1, and the Vacaville Police were first to arrive, quickly followed by Vacaville firefighters and paramedics. Compressions were started, and soon, Nickie arrived at the VacaValley Emergency Department, where Emergency Room Technician Allison Pearson took over the compressions, and Dr. Paresh Pravin and Dr. Joseph Dane stepped in.


Her mother remembers that Nickie was shocked 13 times, and that resuscitation continued for an exhausting 93 minutes.

“I wasn’t about to give up on this girl,” remembers Allison, one of many who came to the reception Friday, Dec. 14 at VacaValley Hospital. “I was determined she was going to make it.”


And she did. Although she had to be removed from the kidney donation list because of the cardiac incident – at least for now – she continues to receive dialysis and as resumed being a student at Solano Community College.


“You’ve been given a second chance at life,” Vacaville Firefighter Matt Moreno told Nickie during the party. “We want to see you do the right things, and start by thanking your mom for being at your side and caring for you every step of the way.”

Matt also extended an invitation to Nickie to come for a ride-along with the fire department some day – to see it from the other side, instead of being the patient.


Dottie had nothing but kind words to say for everyone who touched her daughter’s life during the recovery. “Everyone here at VacaValley was so kind and thoughtful. I just can’t say thank you enough,” she told the crowd, tearing up. “I wouldn’t have Nickie today if it weren’t for all of you.”