Let's set the scene. After putting in more 12-hour shifts than you can count, you finally have a day off. You settle in to your couch wearing your comfy-cozy clothes with a bowl of popcorn and favorite flavored seltzer water. Time to "veg out" with a marathon of your favorite HGTV makeover show. This down time gives your nurse brain a much needed break. You love the way they re-do the hardwood floor or open up the kitchen by tearing down the wall.
And then you spot it and your nurse brain kicks in. There, on his neck, a growth. You try to focus on his words, as he explains their makeover plans, but you can't look away from the lump. Hard to tell the diameter from the screen, so you pause it, and move closer to see if you can gauge the size.
You try to sit back and relax, allowing your mind to get pulled in to the program as they repaint the living room and tile the backsplash, but every time the host is on screen all you see is the growth.
Another episode comes on. You notice that the growth is bigger and your nurse brain takes over. You have to do something. You can't just sit there and know something is wrong and not do something about it. He needs to see a doctor. He needs to get help. Your nurse spidey-senses tell you it could be serious.
You grab your phone and start googling the show, the production company, some sort of contact info that you can use to contact him. You find it, an email address and send this:
"This is not a joke. I'm a registered nurse. I've been watching Flip or Flop. I noticed that the host Tarek has a large nodule on his thyroid, and he needs to have it checked out." You hit send and breathe a sigh of relief and hope that it reaches him.
Sounds like a scene from the latest hit nurse/hospital show, but it's real life. While watching a marathon of HGTV's renovation show Flip or Flop, Ryan Read, RN, spotted the growth on the neck of host Tarek El Moussa. Read's email prompted El Moussa, then 31, to get a biopsy, which revealed thyroid cancer and that it had spread to his lymph nodes.
El Moussa, who hosts Flip or Flop with his wife, Christina, says the pair got to meet Read when his case appeared on an episode of The Doctors. "We actually ended up spending the day with her," he says, per Entertainment Tonight. "It was just such an amazing experience to meet this person, because she stepped up and did what others probably wouldn't have done." He adds that without Read, he may never have known he had cancer, or "by the time that I would've found out, it probably would've been in a much further stage." El Moussa had the tumor removed and underwent thyroid radioactive iodine therapy. Now "I feel fantastic," he tells People. "Every day that goes by, the odds of the cancer [recurring] decreases, so we're really excited for that."
Being a nurse is like having a super power and we are grateful for heroes like Read that help save lives, even on their day off.
Share your thoughts on this incredible true story in the comments section below.