It was a man’s voice, loud and gruff, coming from room 254. I was taking a shortcut through the telemetry unit after another busy day in the critical care unit. These weren’t her patients, so she kept going.
“Yo, the blondie, it’s you!” the man shouted again.
I stopped and went to the doorway of room 254 and glanced in. A large man with a big, friendly face was sitting up in bed.
“Do you remember me? You were my nurse on the fourth floor.”
“I’m sorry, but I work in the critical care unit. You must have me confused with someone else.”
“No, wait a minute.” He started snapping his fingers. “Your name is … Oh, let me think …” He looked up at the ceiling, a half smile on his face. Then he looked back at me.
“Daisy, right? You’ve got a long, blond ponytail, don’t you?”
I was dumbfounded. “Yes,” I said, peeking at my chest to make sure I’d taken off my name tag. I then studied the man’s face, looking for something that might trigger my memory.
“I’m sorry. I don’t work on the fourth floor, and I just don’t remember you.”
“That’s all right, Daisy. I’m just glad I got to see you again. You came into my room about 3 weeks ago. My heart stopped dead on me and you put those paddles on my chest. I remember you shouting out all these technical words, telling everybody to clear the way. Then you took those paddles and you shocked me back to life.”
Suddenly, it dawned on me. I had been in his room, for a code I’d forgotten about. He was a different person back then – unresponsive, with dilated pupils and a red and blue face.
“Who told you I helped you that day?” I asked curiously.
The man laughed and looked back up at the ceiling.
“Nobody told me. I was up on that ceiling there watching you. That’s how I saw your long, blond ponytail. And when you turned to look at the monitor, I saw your beautiful face. I’m so glad I got to see you again.”
He looked back down at me. His smile was gone, and he was getting emotional.
“I wanted to say thanks. Thanks so much…”
A warm feeling welled up inside me. I didn’t understand how the man could see me from the ceiling while his life was ebbing away. Some might call it an out-of-body experience. It might also be just a miracle of sorts – no different from many other small miracles that occur every day in the hospitals.
Every time I pass room 254 now, a warm feeling wells up inside me. I am grateful for the shortcut I took that day, and for the fact that I answered the call of “Hey, Nurse.”
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