Over the years, Marvel has enthralled fans with heart-stopping tales of superheroes saving the world from devastation. However, the graphic novel unveiled on December 3, 2020, is the most exciting one yet. Entitled, The Vitals: True Nurse Stories, it depicts factual accounts from the world's real-life superheroes — nurses who risk their lives daily to save strangers from the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.
The brilliant idea of creating a comic book to honor the brave and selfless hospital workers was first suggested at an Allegheny Health Network (AHN) and Highmark Health (HH) marketing meeting a few months ago. To help them realize the vision, AHN senior marketing strategist Lisa Huckestein approached Marvel. To her delight, the entertainment company loved the idea and asked the hospital to present them with some COVID-19-related experiences from the nurses.
The comic book's three stories, selected by Marvel writer Sean Ryan, are based on eight nurses' experiences at AHN’s 13 hospital facilities in Western Pennsylvania. One depicts the extent the hospital staff goes through to save a patient who is struggling to breathe. The second is about nurses assisting isolated COVID-19 patients to stay connected with their loved ones through technology, while the last one shows the pandemic's impact on nurses' personal lives.
“At Marvel, we tell stories about heroes every day. But this story is special. It tells a story about our everyday heroes—the nurses and healthcare professionals working tirelessly and courageously to save lives,” said Dan Buckley, president of Marvel Entertainment. “Along with AHN, we are honored to help tell these stories, which we dedicate to the real heroes who are saving the world.”
The heartwarming comic book, which was distributed to all AHN nurses, along with boxes of candy, on Thursday, December 3, 2020, is also available online at Marvel.com. The entertainment company also released a tear-jerking video that shows the reactions of the featured nurses' families reading the comic book for the first time.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been in awe of the courage and resourcefulness of our nurses, who put their own health at risk to care for these vulnerable patients,” said AHN chief nurse executive Claire Zangerle in a statement. “We are so proud of them, and we want to make sure they know how much we appreciate their exceptional work. We hope that in seeing themselves as real Marvel Comics Super Heroes, they can take a moment to look back in pride on their exceptional work and compassion during an exceptionally difficult time for our communities.”
Marvel and AHN hope that people worldwide will share the comic book with friends and family via social media, and raise awareness of these extraordinary human beings. Be sure to thank the doctors, nurses, and the numerous other real-life superheroes who are working tirelessly to keep your community safe and healthy during these unprecedented times.
Resources: Marvel.com, ahn.org