Friday, March 9.2012 I was on my way to work. I left home about 7:40am. I take the same route: Morningwood Drive to Cashell Ct, turn right then left on Bowie Mill Road. Turn left at Muncaster Mill Road and then a quick right on Needwood Road. Needwood Road has a small lake and I always take a glance at it, check the water level and admire the trees. Then I start my prayer and meditation. This road has a lot of speed bumps so I figure rather than be mad the whole time driving slowly I will just pray and meditate. By the time I get to Redland Road I am done praying and end with Amen. This time I stayed in a prayer mode probably because this day I was feeling more down than usual. My mother’s birthday was coming up the following Tuesday. She passed away January 2011 and I was already having a hard time, realizing she would not be here on her birthday. I had asked to be off work that day. I wanted to commemorate it in some way or just stay home and cry if I wanted.
I turned left on Redland Road to the outside lane. I was the third car in line. I looked pass the intersection of Crabbs Branch Way and Redland Road and saw a person‘s legs on the ground. I was beginning to get anxious thinking they must have been hit by a car. I didn’t see anyone next to them. The two cars in front of me turned right and at that moment I decided to go through the red light. I will take my chances I thought to myself. I pulled over, ran out, identified myself as a nurse and offered my help. There were two men and two ladies there. One of the ladies was doing chest compressions while talking on her cell phone and the other was at the head of the person. They were both nurses. One of the men was also talking on his cell phone. He mentioned that they had called EMS. We were all anxiously waiting for their arrival. The person was an Asian lady who looked to be in her late 50s or early 60s. I noticed her coat was still on and I unbuttoned it and starting doing compressions. All the while I was praying “God in heaven, please breathe life in to this person”, and again “God in heaven, please breathe life into this person”. Over and over again I said it with each compression. It may have been a few minutes but seemed much, much longer. EMS finally arrived. They asked a few questions, none of which I could answer. I was the third responder. They scooped her up and put her in the ambulance. I rushed to give them her hat and purse.
I thanked everyone, got in my car and drove to work. When I arrived my hands were shaking uncontrollably. I told my co-workers what had happened. I desperately wanted to know if she lived. A few hours later I couldn’t stand it anymore so I called Shady Grove Adventist hospital to inquire about how she did. Miraculously she was alive. They were preparing to transfer her to a hospital in D.C. Praise be to God she lived.
A few weeks later a co-worker asked me about her and I didn’t know. I never asked her name when I called the ED. Fast forward a few months later, a nurse practitioner student I agreed to precept started her rotation. Right away she asked if I had done CPR on a person earlier in the year. I thought “my goodness, how would she know that?”. She also works at Shady Grove Adventist hospital in the ED. Her charge nurse remembered me when I worked there several years ago and he remembers me calling to check on the Asian lady. I got very excited because I could see a way that I would find her. All I needed was to remember what day that was. Thankfully I had written it in my gratitude journal. Now the search was on. The student told me it still might be tedious and almost impossible to locate her since they had gotten a new computer system. But she would try.
Thursday, October 25th my student called me in a panic saying her charge nurse called her and said the Asian lady was back at the ED with chest pain. I could come and meet her. But my car was in the shop and the mechanic wasn’t sure it was going to be ready by the end of the day. My student agreed to come and pick me up in Olney and drive me to the ED in Rockville! Before that could happen the Asian lady was discharged. Thankfully the charge nurse gave her my contact info. She emailed me the next day. Tears of joy overwhelmed me as I read her email.
We agreed to meet for lunch. My heart dropped when I saw an Asian lady sitting by herself. I knew it must be her. She spotted me too, a lady looking for someone who’s life she helped to save. We hugged and cried. It was such a surreal moment. I am so thankful for her. She strengthened my belief in God. I just had to meet this person whom God again breathed life into. Turns out she was looking for the nurses who had performed CPR. She was so grateful. We spent 2 ½ hours together learning about each other’s lives. Since then we have ran into each other at Trader Joe’s. She wasn’t feeling well this March so we postponed her new birthday celebration until this weekend.