A Health Careers Scholarship Recipient’s Message
I am so very grateful that I won the scholarship for the 2018-2019 academic year. I appreciate the opportunity to be a part of the IOKDS family!
Below is my story about how I have been touched by a patient.
I had a patient come to the emergency department in the most vulnerable position you can imagine a person experiencing. She was extremely obese. She was unable to get out of her bed to take care of herself, and used an adult protective undergarment. Looking at her, I guessed she was about 60, which is young to have to have total care. Her caregivers were not taking care of her at all—they were using her government check for themselves instead. They hadn’t changed her undergarment in several days.
I helped five other people remove and replace her undergarment. That’s how big of a job it was. It was one of the most grusome tasks I’ve ever undertaken as a healthcare worker. My patient was semi-conscious throughout the experience, and by the time she was sufficiently cleaned, it was time to insert another IV.
While the nurse proceeded, I held her hand and squeezed it. I tried to get her to look at me and talk to me. She made eye contact at one point, and I saw something in her eyes. Pain, fear, hopelessness…I’m not sure. Whatever it was, it seemed like a veil dropped from my eyes, and I saw her clearly for the first time. I saw a tattoo on her breast that was very sexually suggestive and thought she was probably at one point a prostitute. I saw pressure ulcers – bed sores – all over her body. I saw scars from past abuse. And for just a moment, I felt this incredible sympathy and love for her. It was more than sympathy—it was an external force working on my heart, causing me to love her like a father would, like a brother would. I saw her as a beautiful, treasured daughter of Heavenly Father, a priceless jewel, a diamond in His eyes. This unique, lovely soul through her own choices and through the choices of others had been cast aside and trampled under the feet of society, and regardless of who’s fault it is, it was tragic.
This was not the love of Morgan. This instead was the love of Christ. And it changed my heart. It made me love her. It made her my sister.
Soon after that, I noticed that her eyes were experiencing petechial hemorrhaging—redness that indicates a lack of oxygen. She started using her accessory muscles to breathe – her shoulders and chest were heaving and her breath was coming in short gasps. I told the nurse to get the doctor, because I recognized symptoms of respiratory distress. Soon afterward, she stopped breathing, and I couldn’t find a pulse. I started doing CPR.
She was in septic shock. We worked on her for an hour, trying to save her. I was part of a six-person line, doing CPR. The attending physician shocked her, intubated her, and gave epinephrine, but it was all to no avail. She passed on to Heavenly Father’s care that night. She wasn’t 60. She was 41.
I know that this individual, this daughter of Heavenly Father, is now well cared for. And this experience taught me that the choices that our spiritual brothers and sisters make should not affect the charity we feel toward them, because it doesn’t affect the charity that Christ feels toward them.
I didn’t give this woman any of my money. This experience didn’t change the way I vote, or have anything to do with her welfare checks. We didn’t save her life, and even if we had saved her life, it wouldn’t have been charity. Charity is not what you do toward a person. Charity is what I felt toward her. It was the change in my heart that I experienced, because I felt the pure love of Christ, which would *motivate* me to change my thoughts and my behavior toward her.
I didn’t love this woman when she came through our ED doors. I certainly did love her when she left. That is the power of the gift of the Holy Ghost. That’s the power of prayer. That’s the power of Jesus Christ, Whose influence made all of this possible.
Morgan K Gilmour