HAZEL CREST, Ill. — Elise Skolek was just 18 when she was rushed to the emergency room. It was a hospitalization that changed not just her life but the lives of those who saved it.

“I knew it was bad when the chaplain started visiting my room,” Skolek said. What began as a kidney infection had morphed overnight into pneumonia and severe sepsis. 

But fate was on her side — along with the intensive care team at Advocate South Suburban Hospital in Hazel Crest who were working non-stop to help her reverse course.

“We all were attached to her,” ICU nurse Jessica McCabe said. 

Skolek not only made a full recovery, but changed her chosen vocation to that of a ICU nurse. “Their care inspired me to become a nurse,” she said. “I wanted to be what they were for me during that dark time.”

After graduating, Skolek went back to the same hospital and put in her application.

Today she is working alongside the same team of nurses that helped save her life four years earlier.

“We were all so touched. It’s just amazing,” McCabe said.