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Successful Social Media Campaign Reunites a Friendship Formed Over 40 Years Ago

Thanks to Facebook, a patient was able to be reunited with his nurse from 1973 after a photo of them both went viral.

Gary Bentley was only 10 years old when he was admitted to UAB Hospital in Alabama. He was due to undergo open heart surgery in order to repair a hole in his left ventricle.

During his stay at the hospital, Bentley made a special friend in a young nurse who he could only remember went by the name Kathy.

Bentley had a troubled upbringing, having several foster parents as well as a heart condition to battle with. However, the memory of Kathy has stayed with him, ‘When you grow up like I did and you run across somebody who’s nice to you, you hang on to it,’ he says.

When Bentley and his wife, Gwen, discovered an old photo of the patient and his nurse, they decided to post the picture up on their Facebook profiles in an attempt to locate the mysterious woman. The post read:

A 10-year-old Gary Bentley, left, is searching for the nurse who took care of him when he was recovering from open-heart surgery. We are in the process of working on writing Gary's life story and we would love the chance to talk with her and I think the hubby would love to thank her for being so sweet to him!

It was Kathy’s daughter, Heather, who first came across the post. She contacted Bentley via Facebook saying, ‘I know the nurse in the picture and she is my mom. You are right, her name is Kathy!

Bentley and his nurse then began to communicate with one another and arranged to meet on Sunday afternoon. Greeting her with a framed copy of the photo and a beautiful bouquet, Gary Bentley finally got to see and thank the nurse who had meant so much to him.  


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Bentley has since uploaded a Facebook status saying, ‘I was right! She is still the same sweet Nurse Kathy I remember from years ago. Nurse Kathy and I both are so humbled by all the kind words and the help from everyone so we could find each other. I cannot describe my feelings. #nursekathy.

Every day on Facebook you see these kinds of campaigns, some more serious than others. I often tend to skim past them, seeing them as scam or a bid for likes. But, it just goes to show, that if you share these posts you really could be playing a part in an important chain that might lead to something meaningful and life changing.


Megan Herdson
Megan is a country girl who moved to the city with some big dreams. She is studying her MA in Creative Writing whilst also managing an American Football Team.  She loves her blog and wants nothing more than to have her words read. That and to win the Championship, obviously. Follow her @MeganAtSMF
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Successful Social Media Campaign Reunites a Friendship Formed Over 40 Years Ago Reviewed by Megan Herdson on Tuesday, March 17, 2015 Rating: 5
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