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Authors

  1. Section Editor(s): Laskowski-Jones, Linda MS, APRN, ACNS-BC, CEN, FAWM, FAAN

Article Content

In my April 2018 editorial, "Reconnecting with the 'Why,'" I discussed the importance of reflecting on the "why" that brought each of us into the nursing profession. This month, I'd like to share my own journey that inspired a true passion for emergency and trauma nursing. That journey began in 1950-more than a decade before I was born. It was then that a nurse saved my father's life.

  
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On a cold December day only 3 months after he married my mother, my father was changing a flat tire on the side of a road. A truck on the hill above him lost its brakes, rolled down, and pinned him against his car, crushing both of his legs. While bystanders worked to free him, an off-duty nurse drove up and made the selfless decision to do what she could to control his profuse bleeding, load him into the back seat of her own car, and drive him to the hospital. When he spoke of that day, he vividly recalled the involuntary kicking of his legs, the horrific pain, and the blood all over her car. He never learned her name, but he knew beyond a doubt that her actions had saved his life.

 

My father spent the next 18 months in the hospital and had multiple surgeries. Miraculously, he kept both legs. One leg ultimately became functional. However, because the bones in the other leg never healed properly, he wore a full metal and leather leg brace for the rest of his life in order to walk. It was hot and heavy, but he never let it stop him from working his trade for almost 60 years as a master carpenter.

 

I often think about the nurse who saved him. I wish I knew her name. Even more, I wish I could have talked to her . . . to find out what went through her mind that day. Ambulance services then were certainly not what they are today. Her swift actions not only saved an incredibly good man, they influenced the deeply rooted ethics that form the foundation of my nursing practice. Consciously or not, I've tried to pay her good act forward for the span of my career.

 

I believe that each good act has a ripple effect. We may never know the extent of its reach, just that it made a difference. To the nurse who saved my father, thank you. Your legacy lives on.

 

Happy Nurses Week!

 

Linda Laskowski-Jones, MS, APRN, ACNS-BC, CEN, FAWM, FAAN

  
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Editor-in-Chief, Nursing2018 Vice President: Emergency & Trauma Services Christiana Care Health System, Wilmington, Del.