Nurse Sees Patient’s Feet, Hears Voice Say, ‘Take Off Your Shoes’

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When a Kentucky nurse saw her patient’s feet, she wasn’t expecting to hear a voice or the demand it made that she heard next. “Hey, take off your shoes,” the voice said, and that’s when she knew she had to act.

Lou Coulon
Lou Coulon (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

When Lou Coulon arrived for her shift on the endoscopy unit at Baptist Health Deaconess Madisonville, Kentucky, where she had been a nurse for six years, she had no idea this shift would end much differently than any she had worked before. It was a cold February day, and Lou was sporting a brand new pair of Brooks Footwear she had just purchased. Little did she know, she wouldn’t be leaving work with her sneakers that day. Instead, she’d find herself putting on hospital shocks after a voice demanded she take off her shoes.

It all began a few months earlier, when Lou Coulon first noticed a patient with holes in their shoes, according to WTOC 11. Then, on that cold and fateful day in February, the same patient returned for another appointment, and Lou couldn’t help but notice that the patient was wearing the same old, worn-out shoes.

“The laces were all shredded, and the soles were torn up,” Lou recalled. “You could see through the sides.”

Lou Coulon was wearing a brand-new pair of Brooks sneakers that she had just purchased for herself. (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

With ice on the ground and freezing temperatures outside, the sight admittedly tugged at Lou’s heartstrings. Not only was Lou concerned for the patient’s comfort, but she also worried about their safety. Unfortunately, the nurse didn’t have an extra pair of shoes at work and she really didn’t want to give up the particular pair of shoes she was wearing that day since she had only just recently bought them for herself. But, then, she heard a small voice telling her otherwise.

“Something was just nudging me. I heard a voice saying, ‘Hey, take off your shoes,'” Lou explained.

Even though she had no other shoes to wear, Lou Coulon listened to that small voice in her head, taking the shoes off her own feet and giving them to the patient in need. Left with no shoes to wear home at the end of the day, Lou decided she could make do by wearing some hospital socks with the rubber grips on the bottom that her unit kept on hand for patients.

“I put them over my socks,” Lou said, speaking of the hopsital socks she wore after giving away the only shoes she had at work. “I thought, ‘Oh, that will get me to the car.'”

Lou Coulon
Lou Coulon was willing to make do with a pair of hospital socks the unit kept on hand for patients. (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

Thankfully, Lou wasn’t forced to tread through the snow and ice on that freezing February day in socks. Instead, she was able to eventually scrounge up another pair of shoes someone had donated. They were old and several sizes too big, but they would get her home, 14 News reported. Being able to find and use those shoes felt like confirmation that she was in the right place at the right time, Lou explained.

“It kind of reiterated that I’m in the right place and the right profession,” the nurse said.

I don’t think anyone would argue that Lou Coulon, who spent eight years working at Baptist Health Deaconess Madisonville as a housekeeper while she studied and learned everything she needed to know to be a good caretaker before becoming a nurse, is a perfect example for those in healthcare. She’s also a good example of simply being a good person.

This nurse is a living, breathing example of someone so generous that they would give you the shirt right off their back, so it’s no surprise that she was praised for her generosity. Although just about anyone would agree that she went well above and beyond her job description, Lou sees it differently.

“The nurses’ creed says that we will take care of those that are devoted to our care. That’s part of our profession, is to seek and look and pay attention to the welfare of our patients and to meet the needs that we can while they’re in our care,” Lou explained.

Making this already amazing story even better, Brooks Footwear eventually learned of Lou’s kindness and sent her a voucher to purchase any shoes she wanted to replace the pair she gave her patient. I don’t know about you, but I love a story with a happy ending, and this one gives us that and so much more. It’s not only a great reminder that we can be the answer to someone else’s prayers if we just pay attention to the needs of those around us, but it also restores our faith in humanity.