67 year old Gail has been a nurse for 30 years. A few months ago, she suffered a stroke and now after years of caring for others, she herself is in need of the same care that she once gave.
She and her husband were both born in Chicago and have been married for 40 years. They have 1 daughter who is also a nurse and 2 grandchildren 8 and 9 years old who all live in Florida. Gail and Ron split their time between Indiana and Florida and it was while they were in Indiana that she became ill. She is now stable enough to be transported and she wants to go home to Florida to be near her daughter for rehab.
We arrive at her bedside early this morning where she is still very much in control. She and Ron are both ready for the trip. She is thin and frail with shoulder length blond hair which she is quick to tell us that her husband has put in a ponytail for her.
She recently had her tracheostomy removed and is just beginning to get her voice back. It is still very soft and quiet but easy to understand. We load her up onto the cot, padding her thin frame with several pillows.
We make our way back to the airport and all take our seats on Abe. Gail did great during her flight. We kept her headset turned down so that we would not bother her and she slept most of the time.
I think even Ron got a little sleep in between our chatting. They are both really looking forward to being near their daughter.
We arrive to warm sunshine as we land in Florida and head to the facility. Because of staffing reasons they assigned Gail to the intensive care unit. As we push her down the hall she insists that she does not need to be in critical care. I assured her that it will only be temporary. We were greeted and assisted by the staff as they helped us move her over. Somehow along the way we had lost Ron. We think he may have gone to see if their daughter had arrived whom unfortunately we did not meet.
In the absence of Ron, we prayed for Gail wishing her our best as we left the hospital.
DO NOTHING OUT OF SELFISH AMBITION OR VAIN CONCEIT. RATHER, IN HUMILITY VALUE OTHERS ABOVE YOURSELVES, NOT LOOKING TO YOUR OWN INTERESTS BUT EACH OF YOU TO THE INTERESTS OF THE OTHERS.
Thank you to Hal, Jason, Chris and Gina for sharing this mission with me.
Shelli Engle RN