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Atlanta Legal Nurse Consultant Nominates ’Anonymous’ Hero For Award


Atlanta, GA, Feb. 3, 2009 – Atlanta legal nurse consultant Liz Buddenhagen, RN, CLNC, is recognizing the good deeds of an anonymous hero – another nurse.

Buddenhagen nominated an Athens, Georgia nurse for the Atlanta Journal Constitution and annual Nursing Excellence Awards because of her kind and courageous behavior.

This is the story:

On December 11, 2007 an Athens-Clarke police sergeant, Courtney Gale, was stabbed repeatedly by a man wielding a kitchen knife at a West Athens Kroger store.

The attack started when Gale, who was working off-duty at the supermarket as a security guard, confronted a suspicious man. She was walking toward the man when he lunged, knocked her down, pinned her to the ground and then began to stab her.

Police say a nurse – now widely referred to as the “anonymous nurse” – who was in the store shopping, probably saved Gale’s life by providing immediate aid.

The nurse took charge, said the store manager, by telling shoppers and employees which first aid supplies to retrieve from store shelves. She instructed manager Mobley to use his belt as a tourniquet for Gale, who lost a massive amount of blood.

Surgeons operated on her that night and three more times the next day. Doctors didn’t know if she would survive, much less walk again, but after 45 days in the intensive unit Gale survived. She was later transferred to The Sheperd Center in Atlanta, a catastrophic rehabilitation hospital.

Now, a little more than a year later, the police sergeant’s recovery is called “a stunner,” in the words of Associated Press reporter Joe Johnson, who recently wrote a story about her.

“Now, the 32-year-old isn’t just walking – she’s driving, swimming and doing nearly everything she did before that night that changed her life,” he wrote. ‘I’m ready to rock’n’roll,’” he quoted her as saying.

“The anonymous nurse is a credit to every nurse in Georgia,” said Liz Buddenhagen, the Atlanta legal nurse consultant who is nominating her for the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Nursing Excellence Award. I don’t know the anonymous nurse personally, but I don’t need to. Her actions speak for her. She is wholly deserving of the Nursing Excellence award.”

Each year, the Atlanta Journal Constitution honors top Georgia nurses who go beyond the call of duty; who are trusted, compassionate, skilled and knowledgeable. The 2009 Celebrating Nurses event will be held on May 6, 2009 at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.

Atlanta legal nurse consultant Liz Buddenhagen, RN, CLNC, owns Buddenhagen & Associates. She has a 30-year clinical nursing background in hospitals, including critical care. Her firm provides legal assistance to Atlanta area law firms for medically related cases – plaintiff or defense.

For more information, go to Contact Liz Buddenhagen, RN, CLNC, for a free initial consultation: 770-725-2997 or email at

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