I live in South Texas, where the summer heat is brutal. I’ve lived here all my 35 years and never get used to it. Last August, I participated in an 8k race in the evening heat of 102F. The race support was minimal, to say the least. Too few water stations, 2 EMTs, and all the food and drinks were gone by the time I was finished. I brought my own hydration and cooling pad but still was suffering through it. I finished, but then something unexpected happened. This is the chain of events from that evening:
First I was all,
Let’s do this thing!!
That was hell, but smile for the camera!
And then, a call went out over the PA system: ” Is anyone here a doctor or a nurse? Please come to the pavillion.”
So next thing I knew I was all,
The poor guy was suffering heat exhaustion and dehydration. He was vomiting. He was weak. He was scared. Long story short, myself and another nurse cooled him, turned him, and comforted him. He asked “Am I going to live?” We KNEW he was going to be completely fine, but hearing the fear in his voice really moved me. The ambulance took him away. A few days later, the race promoter contacted us, saying “the guy who went down in the pavillion” wanted our contact information. I replied with my mailing address.
And a month later, this:
This man was so grateful. He told me a lot about himself and his family, and included a picture of his wife and five children. I will never forget this gesture of appreciation as long as I live. I am proud to be a nurse, all day, every day.