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Near Death Experience
By * Twilah
Sunday, July 11, 2004
Rated "G" by the Author.
This took place one night when I was on duty at the hospital, shortly after receiving my RN.
She glanced at her watch. Had she been on duty for only two hours? From the corner of her eye she saw another flash as the lightening storm approached, concerned not for herself, but the possibility of power failure, which could be disastrous.
She’d worked at this hospital since getting her degree. Polio was rampant then. The years following she’d seen extremely afflicted children recover enough to go home, but adults were not as fortunate. Polio affected the respiratory system as well as muscles. Most were placed in respirators, known at that time as ‘iron lungs.’
The lights flickered…then failed simultaneously with a bolt of lightening---Paul! Rushing down the hall, she found the respirator still. Fright in Paul’s eyes said it all, his life depending on electricity to run the bellows. She knew immediately what she had to do. She reached for the lever to manually work the bellows. The storm continued as her patient fought to breathe, and she was becoming fatigued. She wondered how long she could continue, when suddenly the electricity returned as fast as it had disappeared. The bellows began to move rhythmically once more.
She moved to the head of the respirator to check on her patient. His eyes were glued to the mirror above his eyes, where photos of his wife and children were attached. With tears streaming down his cheeks, he whispered.
“If you hadn’t been here, I would’ve died. I owe you my life.”
“Sh-h-h,” she said tearfully, “you are safe now, that’s all that matters.
Several years later, the nurse had relocated to another town. One day, in her mornng newspaper, she read of Paul’s obituary. Listed was his wife’s name and her address. She felt so strongly that she should write to her, and did so. Later that week she received an answer to her letter. In it, his wife said that Paul had told her about what happened that night. She said she had always wanted to contact her to thank her for giving her husband several more years with her. This touched the nurse deeply, and she has held on to that letter to the present day.Little did she know that just doing her job would reap such a precious benefit.
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