MARK Twain wrote that kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.
Indeed, kindness is a universal language and when extended, can make the most trying circumstances seem less difficult.
Such was the case for my daughters and I on Saturday night.
The youngest was looking forward to the Bendigo Health fun run on Sunday, but instead found herself needing the services of the hospital late the night before.
It was her first asthmatic experience – and a little bit scary for a nine-year-old.
I was reluctant to add to the pressure of what is always a busy night in the ED, but it was quickly becoming apparent health care was necessary.
When we told the TRIAGE nurse we didn’t want to waste her time if we really didn’t need to be there, she took one look at my little girl and immediately treated her as though she was her own.
Within minutes, the most beautiful nurse we have met (and we have come across many at Bendigo Health) was offering health care with warmth and urgency.
There was no doubt she was busy. The ED was busy. The first drunk had just arrived for the night after some silly antics out on the town – and opposite us, three security guards stood outside a room where a gentleman was sleeping off his reason for visiting the hospital.
Despite the activity, my little girl was made to feel like the only patient in a department of many by a softly spoken, gentle nurse with a smile that helped those around her remain calm. Regrettably, we didn’t learn her name.
But this kindly nurse also took the time to show me what to look for when a child shows signs of respiratory distress – the sinking chest below the neck and/or breastbone, use of the accessory muscles in the neck ... not having experienced this with a child before, I had no idea.
Now, because she spent a few extra minutes with us, I know when to seek help should we need to in future.
Not once did she make me feel like an over-reacting parent – rather, that I had done the right thing in seeking medical attention.
Such kindness and compassion doesn’t take long, but makes such a difference.
My favourite well-known passage (often attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson but the origin of which has long been debated) is known as Success. It reads:
“To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one’s self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived—this is to have succeeded.’’
To the ED nurse who treated my daughter on Saturday night, one little life has breathed easier because of you. Thank you.
One little life has breathed easier because of you. Thank you