Six weeks in hell in a hospital with my sister has taught me many things but one of the most important is who really are the heroes.
Are they the surgeon? The cardiologists? The specialists who swoop in, make their cuts and move on?
In some cases, yes, but there are many more heroes who travel the halls of today’s hospitals, many of them unnoticed by administration or management but it is these heroes I want to say thank you to.
There was the housekeeper who found me collapsed, in tears, watching transport wheel my sister’s gurney off to the OR. Without a thought, she dropped her mop and wrapped her arms around me, held me, told me it would be okay. A hero, a human being who touched my soul for a few moments and gave me comfort.
There was the nurse who watched me watch you, who listened to me and started slowly, bravely and repeatedly pushing the Resident, asking for tests and finally telling him that my sister was in full renal failure. A man who risked his career for my sister, him I will not forget.
The housekeeper who stopped what she was doing and walked me to the cabinet to get a warm blanket, the nurse who pushed away from the computer and came down the hall with me to soothe my sister’s pain, the security guards who welcomed me, smiled and said good morning, the cashiers in the cafeteria who always asked how I was doing and how my sister was doing — all of them are heroes, the underpinnings of the hospital that make the work of the technicians – read doctors – possible.
These are my heroes, men and women who come to work every day and see sorrow, pain, loss, played out in every corridor and every room and still they reach out to touch, to help, to care. These are people I will not soon forget and will never be able to thank.