Last month, I found myself in the position of having to dial those three numbers we pray we never have to dial, but know are always available to us; 911.
So incapacitated was I from illness, it took me 11 hours to crawl to the phone in the next room.
“What is the nature of your emergency?” the 911 operator asked calmly but firmly. I heard myself yelling incoherently. The 911 operator talked me through the process. The 911 operator asked for name, address, phone number and symptoms, and instructed me to wait for help. Less than six minutes later, the EMT opened my apartment door and found me on the floor in duress. They did not hesitate, but cradled me like a newborn babe and lifted me onto the gurney, gently caressing my wounded, wretched body. The EMT enveloped me with wings of guardian angels.
Soon, the bay doors of the Marshall Hospital Emergency Room opened; towering over me like life-saving Titans were Dr. John Tucker, emergency room doctor, clad in Superman-themed hospital scrubs; Deb, emergency room head nurse equipped in her bullet-deflecting bracelets and golden lasso of truth; and Dr. Gallant, emergency room doctor, gallant by nature, Gallant by name.
As they did their heroic best to stabilize my condition and that of all the other patients in crisis, pain and trauma around me, I developed a deeper appreciation for our local EMT and Marshall Hospital ER staff. They provide the same terrific treatment and compassionate care to all patients regardless of race, color, culture, religion, political affiliation, disability, or health insurance status. Our emergency responders do not ask for it, but they certainly do deserve our heartfelt thanks.