We all have heroes in our life. Sports Icons or Business Icons that we hold in higher regard than normal people. Most of us hold out our parents as our heroes and that is certainly true for me. My Business Icon has always been Warren Buffett. He is smart, well spoken, has amassed a fortune with Berkshire Hathaway, but expects his children to work for a living and doesn’t just hand them things because. That is my kind of dad, the same kind I was raised by (minus the fortune) and the same type of parents Mark and I have always been.
I encountered a new type of heroes during this whole ordeal, the kind that work 12 hour shifts, don’t get holidays off (unless they have serious seniority), deal with terrified parents and loved ones, demanding doctors and other department heads. They do this all with grace, smiles, stethoscopes around their necks, iPhones in their scrub pockets (so they can do correct calculations every time a medication changes). The fluent knowledge of every machine on the floor and yet the ability to explain it to terrified parents in normal English, the calming tone needed to tell us that the crazy beep we hear every (what seems like 10 seconds) is not concerning at all. Yet the ability to scoot us all out of the room gently when major shit is going down so they can all do their jobs and we don’t have to see the carnage.
These are my new heroes, the PICU nurses that we encountered for 12 days at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, MA. From the first night when Carly found me multiple blankets (because that room had to be kept so cold) and showed me how to unfold the love seat in Connor’s room into a bed and found me extra pillows to make me as comfy as possible. Then she pushed 2 chairs together for Jordan and found some blankets to cover her in as well, so she could be right next to Connors bed and hold his hand. Mark slept sitting up on the end of the couch with his feet on another chair, covered in another blanket. All of these things supplied by these angel nurses.
For 12 days Carly, Hillary, and the rest of them took care of not only Connor but us as well. They reminded us to eat, sent us to the Parent Sleep Room when going 5 miles to the hotel was an impossibility. At one point in time we met with Dr. Steve Lieberman to get some clarity and more information on Connor’s condition. He said to us “if you want to know how things are, and the status of Connor, don’t ask the doctors, ask my nurses, they run this unit.” Dr. Lieberman started the PICU 37 years ago, he is a wise man, and truer words have never been spoken. Those were the hardest 12 days of my life, but I also found some of the best angels in the process❤️.