HUNTER PROSPER IN HIS OWN WORDS:
“We’re more alike than we are different.”
HUNTER PROSPER’S RISE:
Hunter Prosper’s career as an ICU nurse started around the same time as the COVID-19 pandemic. With no choice but to learn to cope, he turned to making videos that showcased his patients’ stories—with their permission, of course. The first video he made and posted garnered 500,000 views. In his search for silver linings, he eventually broadened his scope. Today, he shares stories of not only his patients, but also people he meets elsewhere. Over the course of one month, his follower count grew by 2 million; and it keeps growing.
GET TO KNOW THE CREATOR:
Hunter Prosper grew up in Emporium, Pennsylvania: a borough whose population hovers around 2,000. Today, Prosper’s follower count on TikTok is 2,300x that.
The TikTok account that has brought in 4.6 million followers – and counting – highlights stories and advice Prosper gathers from strangers. And TikTok is only his side project.
Prosper’s perspective is informed by his full-time job as a nurse. He began his nursing career as a resource nurse, responding to various units. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, he transitioned to the ICU.
“It was a culture shock to enter the ICU,” he said in an interview. In a stressful profession at a turbulent time, Prosper found himself looking for ways to mitigate burnout and find the positive. He started interviewing patients, sharing stories devoid of identifying details.
“The goal was to help others, as well as myself, find silver linings in a lot of the suffering or hardships I was seeing,” he has said.
Several months into the endeavor, Prosper’s girlfriend suggested he lengthen his reach. He started asking questions beyond hospital walls, and has even began travel nursing.
Prosper’s questions are direct and succinct, meant to elicit responses about love and loss.
“What’s the most painful thing you’ve been told?”
“What’s something you should’ve told your ex?”
“What is the worst pain you’ve felt that wasn’t physical?”
He asks the musician Andy Grammar, “Have you had an experience where someone saved your life?”
Since Prosper expanded his subject pool, his follower count has grown exponentially. But views and follower numbers are not Prosper’s concern.
“I realized my work was making a meaningful impact the first time I received a DM from someone telling me a video helped them reach out to get help and start going to therapy,” he said in another interview. “For me, it’s never about the numbers. If one video gets one view, as long as that video helped someone in some way, the creator is doing something amazing.”
Today, he shares stories of not only his patients, but also people he meets elsewhere. Over the course of one month, his follower count grew by 2 million; and it keeps growing.
• Started college as an English major, but eventually shifted his focus to the medical field
• Once he started telling stories of not just his patients, he gained 2 million followers in one month