What an honor: ICU nurse receives Rockies ‘Hero of the Game’

Local News

DENVER (KDVR) — Baseball and emergency medicine have nothing in common, until now that is. The Colorado Rockies honored an intensive care unit nurse from UCHealth in the seventh inning of their home opener.

The Colorado Rockies call it “Hero of the Game” where they honor a member of the military and show appreciation with an in stadium recognition ceremony.

For the Colorado Rockies home opener, they are making an exception to the rule and will not be honoring a member of the military, but a member of the medical profession.

Olivia Thornton is a COVID ICU nurse assistant manager at UCHealth, and when the pandemic hit she didn’t know what to expect.

“I don’t think any of us did, I think we were all just in kind of survival mode as we were learning new things we were adapting,” Thornton said.

Thornton did not spend too much time speculating, she and her coworkers hit the ground running.

“If I had to pinpoint one thing I would say that visitation restrictions have been incredibly difficult for staff, not just for COVID but for all of our patients,” Thornton said.

Being named the hero of the game did not surprise chief nursing officer Katherine Howell at UCHealth.

“She has the right drive, she has the right knowledge, and she is just a real leader, I mean if her staff is in there, she is in there,” Howell said.

Being recognized by the Rockies and the fans at Coors Field was a new experience for Thornton.

“I am a little terrified, I don’t love being the center of attention, I think it’s a tremendous honor,” she said on Wednesday, before the home opener on Thursday.

For her dedication and commitment, it’s been a home run for Olivia Thornton.  

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