An angel of a nurse

Published 9:06 pm Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The weather was excellent over at T’town, and I felt better than I had in years.

I was there to work on Lake Tuscaloosa. My plans were to work Friday night, Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, before trailering my boat home.

What does that have to do with angels, you ask? Monday morning, I was trying to tell anyone who would listen, “Right after I launched my boat each morning, for about five minutes I became dizzy, perspired heavily and felt faint. As a matter of fact, I feel like that now.” “Sounds like you need to go to the doctor,” she said as she was leaving.

In the steaming hot shower, I got the message as both arms fell to my sides and I was going in and out of consciousness. Leslie had not left yet so I asked her to take me to the hospital. I lay there on the gurney, all hooked up to the EKG, which was about all they had in those days.

After a few minutes, the elderly doctor came into the emergency room and confirmed what we all knew. “Yep, there it is, “as he walked away. For a while, I didn’t see anyone. Suddenly, I strained my eyes to see the face that would never leave me!

I felt at ease—no more thoughts of dying alone. She said very little as she took me down the hall to ICU. She would smile and was very busy—as I was to learn latter—trying to keep me alive!

I kept looking around. We were alone, but she was there. Her beautiful smile was turning to frustration. I looked for someone, and then I saw my mate and the doctor down the hall. “Hey,” I thought, “I’m in here.”

My new friend’s beautiful smile had left one great concern: She had been crying! Nurses don’t cry, I thought. She came and stood over me, crying openly now, “Mr. Bill, if they don’t get you out of here, you are going to die!” “What can I do,” I thought as I looked down at my almost lifeless body. She said, “All you have to do is tell me—I’ll take care of everything.” She was getting excited. “Lets go!”

She smiled and wheeled me back down the hall, not even speaking to those in the hallway. She stopped and spoke to a person who obviously had a plan in place. She paused long enough to put a life-pak between my knees. I was in the ambulance, and we were on our way—just like that!

She was feeding me nitroglycerine tablets while on the phone with surgeons at the ER at St. Vincent’s, constantly repeating something like, “We don’t need to stop for anything!” The angel held my hand.

The surgeons were debating about using a procedure that would reverse the muscle damage done, if we were under the timeframe—otherwise it would stop the heart! They were pressuring my friend, who had worked so hard to get me transferred earlier. She had to make the call!

She told them how long it had been and had to say: it had been too long. She was taken away. I knew she was crying, but even then I knew that I was not going to die—not that night!

Up steps Dr. K. Berry, who took over the job of bringing me back. He had those same eyes. He always said, “You’re going to be fine.” He discharged me in 10 days, with two little pills and a prayer. That’s been 27 years ago!

Every new doctor that sees me, after seeing my record, says something like, “Whatever you are doing, keep doing it.” That gives me a chance to tell my story.

How the Lord showed me my angel—together with a renowned cardiologist who shared a world of knowledge that would save my life. For a job He has for me.