To the Medical Staff Who Saved My Daughter's Life
I know you don’t play cards all day — even though you work in a small rural hospital.
To the firefighter, who happened to be a high school friend of my mine, thank you for taking my seizing baby. Thank you for cradling her, holding her and carrying her to the ambulance. Thank you for hugging me when you got out, and helping me to climb up into the vehicle. You were probably hoping for a slow night at the station, but you came to help my baby.
To the ER staff who held my hand, who worked to get an IV in my baby, who ran test after test, and calmly explained to me what was going on. Thank you for your kindness. Thank you for your patience. Thank you for rubbing her forehead when she came to and was scared. I know how hard it is to take care of a sick kid. But you showed my baby love, and for that I thank you.
To the small town pediatrician, who happened to be my pediatrician when I was a kid as well, thank you for listening to your gut. Thank you for listening to my rambling, thank you for being willing to let me make a choice that night but being honest with me about what you felt inside. Thank you for making sure we were settled in the pediatric ward before you left for the evening. If you hadn’t, you would have already left when she started to seize again. You wouldn’t have been there when she began to code. Thank you for staying with my baby; thank you for being a doctor who I know is both honest and kind. Thank you for setting me aside and telling me what to expect when it was time to transfer her to a bigger hospital. Thank you for hugging me and praying with me that night. Thank you for crying with me, and showing me I wasn’t alone in my feelings. I know your wife probably wished you had been home to eat dinner that night, but you were providing care to my baby. Thank you.
To the nurses who saved my daughter, thank you. Thank you all for rushing into the room to save my daughter that night. Thank you for getting an IV, for calling around for extra support, and for taking care of me when you were busy taking care of her. Thank you to the nurse who helped hold down my seizing baby as she was being intubated, and thank you to the nurse who sat there holding my hand as it was happening. Make no mistake, without you, my daughter would not be here.
I know that when you work in a small town hospital, it does not mean you get extra time to play cards and hang out during your 12-hour shifts. I know you often do not have time to eat lunch, or even go to the bathroom.
I know that working in a small town hospital really means being on your feet all day. It means rushing from room to room, patient to patient. It means short staffed floors and doing things that are often outside of your paygrade. But you do it with love, you do it compassion, you do it because you are lead to.
And for all of that, I can never thank you enough.
A version of this story originally appeared on Moogie.
Getty image by Patcha1984