Memorial Day is the day we set aside to honor those everyday heroes who put themselves in harm’s way, whether our lost servicemen and women, veterans, police, fire fighters, etc.
This year we include doctors, EMS personnel and nurses.
Nurses–my mother was one. While there were many heroics in her service, I’m not sure those old army nurses at HAH would have thought so. I say this because I was personally saved by one nurse on one very normal day.
Somewhere back in the 1960s, I had to have my tonsils removed by Dr. Telfer. I was checked in to the old Hillsboro Hospital and couldn’t have anything to eat or drink after midnight. I remember the green and white tiled floors in that place so well.
The next morning I was wheeled to surgery. Apparently I did great, went through recovery then back to my room. When I got back anesthesia always effected me and I was walked into the bathroom. Sitting there contemplating my hurting throat I suddenly became very ill.
The floor was white tile with speckles of gold. Well it quickly became red. I was hemorrhaging severely.
I didn’t know, but it was bad. I was grabbed out of that bathroom and thrown into the bed. Typing and cross matching took time and I didn’t have that amount of time left.
Then a young male nurse asked my blood type and was told O-positive. He was also O-positive and immediately started a person-to-person blood transfusion from him to me, then took me back to surgery. Crisis averted.
Without his immediate reaction, I very well may have not gotten to where I am today.
We talk of heroes. I have a few but when I ask this man what I can do–you know, my firstborn to pay you back–the answer is always the same: just live life to the fullest.
So, as this story doesn’t come up much–listening to stories of PPE, heroics and such–on this day and every other one I will do my very best.
How many people now have had a person-to-person blood transfusions? Certainly in the time we live in, it doesn’t happen.
A huge thank you to Walt Duzan, an everyday hero for my every day.
Theresa R. Greenwood