This is one of the many vivid memories shared by Mark, an intensive care unit (ICU) delirium survivor:

His story begins on the last day he remembers of 2015, December 26. Mark struggled to breathe at home, so his parents took him to the emergency department, where multiple teams evaluated him. Initially, he was admitted to a general care ward, where he was agitated and aggressive and subsequently intubated and transferred to the ICU within hours. This is where his delirium began.

Mark was sedated and in a medically induced coma for 3 weeks. What follows is the memory of what he experienced during his delirium; it is not pleasant for him to recall or share, but it needs to be told.

Except for one staff member, Nurse Q. Mark recalls how he could hear and recognize Nurse Q’s voice through his delirium. Even when he was still receiving mechanical...

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