ER staff forms softball team to battle post-COVID blues

There is a new softball team that may not be winning all the games, but they came to play for all the right reasons.

Sanford Health ER staff compete at a north Fargo softball complex on Tuesday night, June 28. The Bowel Movers softball team was formed so ER staff could socialize following the pandemic.
Ryan Longnecker / WDAY News
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FARGO — Every week, more than 30 emergency department nurses, technicians, doctors and staff from Sanford Health come together as Team Bowel Movers, a play on words for a common patient complaint to the ER.

It may not be obvious to their opponents, but for the past two years, these players — who spend their nights and days in the emergency department — have been through a lot. COVID-19 changed everything.

"Devastating, that's a good word for it," said Sanford Health ER nurse Nathan Parrett. "It was a long two years, and that's what's refreshing about being able to do this now. For a lot of us, this is the first time we have done anything outside of work in two years."

An incredible story of forgiveness and healing that brought two families together. All because of a young man lost to war in Vietnam decades ago.

"We worked a lot. We worked a lot of hours, and when we weren't at work we were at home, and that was pretty much it," said ER nurse Sonja Drechsel. "It's good to hang out with your friends,"

Parrett is an registered nurse in the emergency department at Sanford Health. But once a week, he and his wife Nicole, another ER nurse, gather everyone together for game night.


"We're getting to know people on more of a personal level rather than just working with them in the ER, for sure. And getting to know other teams too. People are always wondering, 'are you medical workers', or 'why are you guys the Bowel Movers,' so it always starts a conversation," Nicole Parrett, Sanford ER Nurse, said.

While the players admitted they aren't the most talented softball team, they pulled through Tuesday, June 28, earning their second win of the season. The team celebrated with the Bowel Movers mascot leading the victory.

Kevin Wallevand has been a Reporter at WDAY-TV since 1983. He is a native of Vining, Minnesota in Otter Tail County. His series and documentary work have brought him to Africa, Vietnam, Haiti, Kosovo, South America, Mongolia, Juarez,Mexico and the Middle East. He is an multiple Emmy and national Edward R. Murrow award recipient.

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