Monday, October 10, 2011
The Power of One
Some time ago a woman in her mid-seventies was trapped by the doors of an elevator in a parkade. The doors shut after she tripped on entering and both legs and one arm were outside the elevator as it ran up four floors and then down again to ground level. She was transferred to the hospital in extremis! The limbs were mutilated. I was working in the OR at the time just finishing a fractured hip. The general surgeon phoned up from Emergency and asked if I would look after her as I had a space and could bump my next case. We examined her in the OR and her limbs were shredded. Nothing was salvageable and an ill informed attempt would be certain death with old kidneys. She had immediate amputation of all three limbs and was transferred to ICU. She never turned a hair and was out of ICU in three days and on the ward. Shortly after that she was transferred to the Rehabilitation Hospital. Her husband and children were incredibly supportive. After her transfer to rehab I lost track of her. About a year or so later I was visiting my mother-in-law in a personal care facility with the pianist and we were having lunch in the dining room. A beautiful woman in an electric wheel chair came over to me with her husband and thanked me for looking after her. She was vibrant and her eyes sparkled. She was all there! Her life had resumed! Where does the power come from? Where is the Well that we can draw the strength from to continue to live a real life that is not just, existing? We didn't talk about faith that day but I saw serenity. The Well that we draw from may be beyond definition for some, or defined by the curious faithful, but whatever it is,it is real!