In the Intensive Care Unit at Rush Copley Medical Center in Aurora, scrubbed-up nurses float in and out of sterile rooms, machines beeping wildly in the background.
On beds, patients lie, some unable to turn, to speak, to open their eyes.
It is here where grieving families come here to wait, for recovery or for the often times inevitable.
In the case of 25-year old Brandon Novak, the latter was the case.
After spending a week in the ICU, a ventilator breathing air into his cancer-riddled lungs, Brandon lost his two-year battle. By his side was Janelle Megenhardt, nurse and mother of three who cared for the Oswego man in his final days.
"Brandon's case really hit home to me," Megenhardt, who lost her mother to cancer, said just weeks after Brandon's passing. "I thought about him more than anyone else. It's always sad when people die, but it's not always a tragedy. It is a tragedy when someone dies at 25 years old."
Although 90 percent of the patients' stories turn out well, it's the other 10 percent that weigh heavy on the hearts of their caretakers who must put their emotions aside.
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