61 year old Tom has been living in the Indianapolis area for about 15-20 years. A few months ago he became ill, requiring a lengthy hospitalization. His sister Chris contacted us to transport him back to their hometown of Cleveland where all of his family still lives. Chris has been making the trip to and from Indy most every weekend for several months.
We arrive at the hospital this morning to meet Tom whom I have been told has not slept all night due to his excitement of going home. Upon entering his room the 1st thing I notice is that he is quite tall 6 feet 5 to be exact.
His hair is thin and graying along with his neatly trimmed mustache and behind his wire-rimmed glasses his eyes look tired. Although his is unable to speak to us verbally (due to his tracheostomy) he moves his lips and communicates very well. When I asked if he was excited, his eyes lit up as he raised his eyebrows, nodded yes and kindly smiled.
We were quick to get him loaded up and into the ambulance for our drive back to the airport. Our flight was very short and Tom did great enroute. One of our volunteer crew had actually taken care of him when he was first admitted to the hospital prior to his transfer to the rehab facility we had picked him up at.
It was very comforting for him to have that connection of a familiar face during his transport.
In no time at all we are in Cleveland and on our way to the new rehab center. I phoned Chris to let her know and she said that the family was already there anxiously waiting. We took the elevator up to the 7th floor rehab and as the doors opened we were surrounded by Tom’s sweet family.
We stopped in the hallway for their initial reunion and waited patiently for each one to welcome him home as the staff looked on.
His son was the first to approach him. He began weeping as he leaned over to hug his father, telling him how happy he is to have him home and how much he loved him.
It was one of those moments that tug at your heart. A father and son each with tears of joy.
Tom’s new daughter-in-law was also there. Next came Chris and his other 2 sisters who had been waiting their turn to welcome their brother home.
With each hug and kiss you could see how overwhelming it was for Tom as he too was fighting back tears. He smiled softly and between his smile and the tears in his eyes it was easy to see how happy and relieved he was to be near his family.
Chris and the rest of the family went down to the waiting area while the staff joined us in getting Tom settled. She asked us to come and see them before we left. After getting Tom into his bed, we prayed with him and promised to get his family back as soon as the staff would allow.
We stopped by the waiting area where we were again greeted by this kind family. They gave each of a small bag of goodies as a thank you. Despite the fact that we assured them this was not necessary they insisted it was something they wanted to do.
Each one of them thanked us individually and we all hugged and thanked them for allowing us to serve their family. Chris promised she will keep me updated on her brother. I have a feeling he is going to do great with all of their support, giving him the motivation he needs.
Please continue to pray for Tom and his continued healing.
THE LORD APPEARED TO US IN THE PAST, SAYING: I HAVE LOVED YOU WITH AN EVERLASTING LOVE: I HAVE DRAWN YOU WITH UNFAILING KINDNESS.
Thank you to Hal, Jason, Carla and Teejay for sharing this mission with me. Many blessings
Shelli Engle RN
PLANE FUN FACT:
About a year ago I had the blessing of working with a case manager named Vee in Cleveland as we put together a transport for a patient of hers. We never had the opportunity to meet but have stayed in touch. At the last minute, I called her to see if she could meet us for lunch this afternoon since we would be in the area.
So for the 1st time we got to meet face to face as she reminded me that it so happens that it was exactly a year to this day that we transported her patient. Our meeting was definitely God orchestrated, He is so amazing and it was a sweet reunion.