Ok, as nurses, we all have thick skin. (At least most of the time) I'm sure you ALL know what I mean when I say, that every now and then, there is that patient or scenario that turns us all into a blubbering mess.
Today was one of those days.
This morning started out as any other morning did, prepping for surgeries. I had two patients, they were doing a living donor kidney transplant, both very nice guys. pt.A was receiving a kidney from pt.B, they were both nervous, it was early, and not too busy yet. I struck up some chit-chat. They were together, boyfriends. They gave me their story.
pt.A was in renal failure, pt.B was healthy and had a quite remarkable physique. The two of them had met on a flight to Vegas, and fell in love, at the time pt.B was significantly overweight. Shortly after their relationship got serious, pt.A was declining, and the need to explore a transplant was at hand. As they put it "on a wing and a prayer" pt.B was typed, and low and behold. A six-for-six match. However, pt.B was quite overweight, so he took to a healthy lifestyle, and lost almost 80 pounds, in order for him to be able to save his boyfriends life, and donate.
(Now I'm teary eyed)
pt.B asked me to give them a minute in private, respecting that, I drew the curtain, but due to a bit of selfish curiosity, I loomed near, and was listening. I couldn't hear a whole lot, but what I did hear was pt.B proposing to his BF, I heard him say something like "You saved my life the day I met you", "Now its my turn to save yours", (then something I couldn't make out) "Will you marry me"
We all had tears in our eyes. Gay, Straight, or anything in-between, I don't care. That was probably the sweetest most heartwarming thing I have ever witnessed in my 35 years on this planet. Right as we were headed for the OR, pt.B looks at me and says. "its not every day you can give someone a kidney and an engagement ring at the same time"
The guys are fine ... I was so touched, I went back after my shift and brought them flowers to their room after surgery. I had to. They said that they are going to have their wedding exactly one year from today as a reminder of how precious the life of someone you love is.
Oh lord, how I cried ... I was a mess, for a good few hours after. Still somewhat am!
Stories like this make my heart break even more when I hear about all the hate towards the gay community. I just don't see how people can be so horrible to one another. I know people who spend their entire lives and don't have half the love as these two humans had for each other in one kidney!
Jul 7, '12
there will always be patients that will stick with you forever no matter how brief your encounter. for me it's the gift that this profession has given to me....those brief glances into humanity, into those private moments that reminds me to be thankful for everyday, and it a honor to be a nurse.
Jul 7, '12
You made me cry! That was so very touching and you showed such sensitivity towards their private situation. Bless you!
Jul 7, '12
Wish there was also a "Love" button!!!
Jul 7, '12
Wow. Thank you for sharing their story with us..
Jul 7, '12
How incredibly amazing to have been a witness to them saving each other!! I TOTALLY agree, LOVE is LOVE amongst people, regardless of gender, race or ethnicity. This is one of the many reasons I'm training to be a nurse, the gift to be witness to some of life's most precious moments, the beginning and ending of life, the start of a new life together, the gift of life...as nurses, our patients invite us into their lives and it will be my honor and pleasure to be a part of it!!
Jul 7, '12
love this story!
Jul 7, '12
unquestionably, we all have experience one time or another these precious moments that usually occur between a nurse and their patients. having said that, i recall long time ago an aids pt. that was admitted to med./sug. his family had abandon him once they learned that he had aids. however, his twin brother would show up 3 times a day without missing a day, he would bathe him, change his gowns, he would make sure that his brother would eat something, and when his twin needed pain meds. he would politely ask on his brother's behalf. on one occasion, it was halloween and he told me that they both loved going out and getting dressed up on halloween. needless to say, i came in that night to find both of them with a halloween mask plus candy at the nurses station that the twin brother bought on his way to the hospital. moreover, every time i passed by my patients room there was his brother reading him the newspaper, or the people's magazine. in addition, they both were great fans of "wheel of fortune" and they were very good at guessing the puzzles. at times i found myself buying people's magazine or getting my pt.'s favorite ice cream from "chick-fil-a". furthermore, my patient had been in and out of the hospital for several years and everyone knew the twins, even though they didn't look identical any longer as the kaposi sarcoma took over my pt's physical. besides that, one morning before the brother of my pt. came in my pt. called me and told me that he needed to talk to me, i sat down and listen how this person before was so deeply concern about his twin brother, he wanted to know if we offer palliative care not only for him but for his twin, i held my composure as i inform him about palliative care lastly, he said "we're all we got, nobody else wants us". in the light of the, i was scheduled off the weekend of st. patrick's day, but one of my colleagues had an accident the night before and i covered for her. consequently, like clock work my pt.'s twin would walk in around 4:00 pm after work to feed his brother and stay with him till 11:30pm as it was his ritual. however, during the course of my shift i heard my patient's brother calling me frantically, as i ran in the room my pt. went into respiratory arrest and died right before the "wheel of fortune" was to start. following this further the brother didn't cry he just looked at his twin brother laying there and he said to me "that could have been me". undoubtedly, we watched "wheel of fortune" and at the end he looked at me and said " i feel so lonely gitano, i'm totally lost without my brother" that's when he let out a yell of pain, as there wasn't a dry eye in the unit that night. lastly, for several years i kept receiving cards from my patient's brother on holidays etc. then they stopped coming. therefore, i consider myself one of the luckiest person for having the honor to be someone's hand or shoulder in their time of need, and this is possible through my beloved nursing career.
i want to thank the op for sharing such lovely story with all of us....aloha~
Jul 8, '12
Quote from Meg88
...The guys are fine ... I was so touched, I went back after my shift and brought them flowers to their room after surgery. I had to. They said that they are going to have their wedding exactly one year from today as a reminder of how precious the life of someone you love is...
Now, for the big question - did you get an invite?