92-year-old COVID-19 survivor, ‘Nurse Smiley’ reunite

Positively Tennessee

SWEETWATER, Tenn. (WATE) — It’s a story that got a lot of response from many of you.

Back in February, we got to see a COVID-19 patient, and his nurse reunite in a Zoom meeting. Maynard Fleeman, 92, wanted to thank nurse Jody Reynolds but couldn’t remember her name. He just called her “Nurse Smiley.”

Turns out she’s a travel nurse who had already gone to her next assignment in Maryland by the time Maynard had recovered. Maynard’s doctor’s office tracked her down.

The two were able to meet in person at the popular Dinner Bell restaurant in Sweetwater.
Maynard and Jody are together again. Instead of patient and nurse, the two are now lifelong friends.

“She stayed right by my side,” Maynard said, “and that meant the world to me.”

“When you can tell that person really wants someone there, that’s what I try to do,” Jody told us, “stick by their side so they’re not scared.”

Since Jody is a travel nurse, she and Maynard wouldn’t have had a chance to meet like this; she wouldn’t have known about his recovery from the virus, had it not been for Tisa Mees, who joined them for lunch along with other members of Maynard’s doctor’s office.

After he recovered last year, Maynard told Tisa about the nurse he only knew as Nurse Smiley, hoping to find her to thank her for her care.

“He’s telling me the story,” Tisa remembered, “and we’re both crying.”

Maynard said, “Well, I tell you, she did everything. She put cold towels on my head.”

Tisa told us, “I asked all the nurse friends that I have including ones at Fort Loudoun Hospital, ‘Do you know somebody? She’s a travel nurse. This is when she was there.’ He knew that her name started with a “j” and an “o” and nothing else.”

Tisa finally tracked Jody down.

“I was very happy to be contacted, number one, because I wanted to know how he was,” Jody said.

They were first reunited on that Zoom meeting we showed you earlier this year. Remember, Maynard showed Jody the quilt he made for her.

It’s no longer a virtual quilt. He has presented it to her in person.

“A lot of love goes into them,” Maynard said.

He told us he’s been sewing since he was a child.

A beaming Jody said, “It’s always going to be special, and I’ll have it forever.”

It’s a beautiful friendship to celebrate between a nurse and her patient and the woman who went the extra mile to make it happen.

Jody is already on her way to her next stop as a travel nurse. She’s headed to Florida.

Maynard has made a full recovery from COVID-19 and says his secret to a long life is, “do the best you can in this world and treat other people like you’d want to be treated.”

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