Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Right Place At the Right Time

On my way home from work, I just happened to be in the right place at the right time.  I was nearly home when I saw that there was an accident up ahead.  As I passed by, I saw that there was a man lying in the turn lane, and a mangled bike further down the road, and an SUV with a smashed in windshield.  Seeing that no EMS or Firemen had arrived yet, I pulled into my street, grabbed my stethescope and bag and ran back to the scene of the accident.  The man was lying on the ground, awake and agitated, so I quickly started talking to him in order to check his airway, then I listened to his lungs to make sure he had decent breath sounds and heart sounds, then I looked him over for any major bleeding.  Next I started to do a quick assessment of his neuro status. I wanted to make sure he was coherent and to find out if he had any major deficits (he was wearing a helment and complained of back pain).  Around this point, I heard the sirens of the fire department headed our way.  The firemen and then EMS arrived, took over, and brought him to the University Hospital just around the corner.  In the end, the man will be okay and just had some scrapes and bruises.
This whole incident really made me think twice.  When I made the decision to go help, everything went very fast.  My medical training, my time spent working on the trauma team, everything kicked in and I just started to automatically go through the routine in stabilizing this patient until help could arrive.  I was very grateful that I could be in just the right place at the right time.  I could see the Lord's hand in this.  He was giving me the opportunity to help this man, this complete stranger.  I think of a combination of the teachings of our Lord which brings together the idea of using the talents the Lord has given us with the story of the good samaritan.  We ought to be ready at any moment to give aid when it is needed, to friends and strangers alike.  This is especially true of those who have training that is more than the general public might have.  In my case, the man was okay, but he could have easily broken his back, or punctured a rib, or been bleeding profusely and I may have had to call upon more of my knowledge in order to preserve his life until the medics could get him to the hospital.  But not every life saving action requires a man hit by a car.  In our everyday life, a simple word or act of kindness may mean the difference between real life and death, between heaven and hell for an individual.  You have a special talent, one that is more important than any medical knowledge at the scene of the accident, you have the gift of the knowledge of Christ and His love.  Be sure to use this gift and do not squander it.  In thie everyday actions of life, you just might become a lifesaver.

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