The Gift a Nursing Student Gave Me After Hearing I Volunteer With Ostomy Patients


When I was recovering from yet another surgery due to Crohn’s disease, I had a visiting nurse come to my home every day to check the abdominal wound to make sure it was healing properly. It was during one of her visits that she had a student nurse named “Jane” accompany her as she was doing a rotation for nursing school. It was after the introductions that I burst out in tears informing them that I was under a lot of stress. My disability hearing was coming up and I was afraid I’d get denied, plus money was very tight so I didn’t have enough for a copay for one of my medications.

After I calmed down I answered the student nurse’s questions about my health problems, what I did in my spare time, which was visiting new ostomy patients in hospitals and counseling them in person or over the phone. I mentioned that I’ve been doing it for over 15 years and it’s something I knew was my calling. She stated I was doing a selfless act giving of my time and expertise to those who needed assistance in the care of their appliance. When my medical visit was complete, I thanked both of them for doing such a great job and told them to feel free in using me as a contact for any of their ostomy patients that needed assistance.

Weeks later I received an envelope in the mail from an address I didn’t recognize. In it was an anonymous letter that stated I was chosen to receive the money enclosed to be used as I saw fit. It also mentioned that I had great courage in facing life’s obstacles, was very giving of my time to help new ostomates and was an inspiration to her. The only thing asked of me in return was to pray for both of her grandmothers.

I was speechless. Who would send me this? I didn’t recognize the handwriting or the return address so I did an internet search and called the number to get information of my secret admirer. Come to find out from a family member that it was the student nurse, “Jane,” who saw me weeks earlier. Her grandmother gives her money each year to donate to a worthy cause each year and “Jane” chose me instead.

I’ve never expected anything in return for doing something positive as I’ve found it very rewarding in giving back to the medical community because the ostomy support group was there for me when I needed them.  “Jane’s” act of kindness was definitely “out of the blue” and to this day, I’ll never forget what she’s done for me.

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