Saturday, December 28, 2013


Jeanne just called. I am at home, sitting in front of a warm fire, watching two dogs watch me  for signs of a walk.  I am working up to it.
She has already done a flight this morning, taking a patient to St. Joe's in Savannah. Two nice things happened along her way.
First, she got to stop in and see our friend Laura. Laura is an older lady, mother of my friends Julius and Lawrence. She fell recently and broke her femur. This put her in-hospital for rehab - and we are keeping up with her progress. It is good to frequently visit people we care about who find themselves in the hospital. Much of institutional health-care is de-humanizing; it's important to provide a living, breathing, talking physical reminder to everyone involved that the patient is indeed a human, who is loved, and valued, and important. This matters, and improves the level of care, and the outcome.

So Jeanne was able to run up to the fourth floor and poke her head in the room for a quick hello. In uniform.
I asked Laura recently if she was being treated like the VIP that she is. She said, "oh yes - I graduated from here." I knew that Laura was a nurse, but I didn't know about her education at St. Joseph's when they taught nurses there. Laura spent her entire working life as a nurse, and was involved in the first-ever open-heart surgery in the city of Savannah. At the time this was cutting edge (pun intended). Laura has opened her home to me and my family for the last few years for each big holiday. She treats me like family. Her kindness and humility inspire me to be a better human. To do better at looking out for the people I work and play and live with.

  1. 1.
    fill (someone) with the urge or ability to do or feel something, esp. to do something creative.
    "his passion for romantic literature inspired him to begin writing"

  2. 2.
    breathe in (air); inhale.

Sometimes, when life get's sideways with us, it is good to consider the second meaning of that word - inspire. This is the meaning that paramedics, who own-the-airway, spend a lot of time focusing on - but it's good for us all to remember to breath - take a deep breath and relax - when things go wrong.

But I digress.
Winston Churchill said, "we make a living by what we get...but we make a life by what we give." People like Laura, and Jeanne give - freely, continuously, without reserve. And their lives are enriched for the giving.

As Jeanne was walking out of the hospital towards her helicopter, a huge man stood by. She wondered why until she got up close and recognized him from a decade and a half ago. He was at one time her medical-technician-assistant - her "tech." He went on to nursing school, then to Certified-Registered-Nurse-Anesthetist training. He lives near Atlanta now and is here for his dad who is also a patient at the Joe.

The giant thanked Jeanne for the way she treated him all those years ago. He told her, looking straight into her eyes, "I am the nurse I am today, because of you."



Let us be...

(Please share with your friends and co-workers...)

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