Sunday, December 9, 2007

Earning Her Wings

An inspirational story written by Sally Kelly-Engeman for Chicken Soup for the Soul about a nurse that's supposed to have a wing. Enjoy!

At the end of her shift, Lois, a surgical and intensive care nurse for thirty years, was eager to go home to a hot bath and a novel. As she pulled out of the hospital parking lot, she saw the nearby ambulance station and felt an unexplainable urge to stop and greet the paramedics, most of whom she had worked with in the past as an EMT. The closer she got, the stronger she felt compelled to stop.

She had barely entered the building and greeted her friends when the phone rang. "There's been a two car accident," the head paramedic said. "We're understaffed today and could sure use your experience, Lois. Will you come with us?"

Instinctively, she climbed into one of the ambulances. As a saffron sunset hung over the Rocky Mountains, Lois felt an unseen force urging her to help. The sirens shrieked and they soon arrived at the accident site. While paramedics attended to an injured man in one car, Lois checked the vital signs of a woman sitting in the other vehicle. There was no blood or visible signs of injury and the woman said nothing, but stared at Lois with vacant eyes.

Lois suspected a brain concussion, but kept her thoughts to herself. Hoping to comfort the woman, she said, "Looks like you're going to be fine, but just to be on the safe side, we'll take you to the hospital."

Mutely, the woman continued to stare at Lois, as if her eyes were about to pop out of their sockets.

The injured man was loaded into an ambulance that sped away and the paramedics placed the woman onto a gurney and into a second ambulance. En route to the hospital, Lois held the patient's hands and comforted her with assurances that everything was going to be fine.

The following morning when Lois reported for duty, she discovered that the woman accident victim was a patient on her floor. After checking her chart, Lois was relieved to see she was well enough to be discharged.

She entered the room and introduced herself. "I'm Lois, your nurse. How are you feeling?"

The patient blinked her eyes and her face turned white. "Are you real or am I hallucinating?"

"Oh, I'm real, I assure you." Lois gently held the woman's hand and checked her pulse.

"A...are you sure you're not a…an angel?"

Lois smiled and attached the blood pressure cuff. "Nurses are often referred to as angels of mercy."

Her patient continued to stare at Lois and whispered, "I mean a real angel."

Lois raised her eyebrows. "A pair of wings would be handy, but, believe me, I'm just as human as you are."

The woman shook her head. "Last night I was in an auto accident and thought I might die. The sun was slipping behind the mountains when suddenly an angel appeared in a halo of light. When she touched me, I felt a surge of love and knew God sent her to reassure me that I'd live." She clasped Lois' hands. "You look and sound exactly like her except you don't have wings!"

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