A Late Night Emergency Room

William - 80246, Colorado
Entered on October 11, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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In many ways, I am the luckiest person alive. I have good health, supportive parents and a fantastic school that pushes me to the limits of my imagination. Even with all these fundamentals going for me, sometimes I get down on my luck: be it a bad grade, a rude remark at my expense, or in this instance, an injury.

It was late one cold February night. I was lying in an infirmary at a ski resort with a hurt wrist. The pain was so excruciating that I had nearly passed out several times. The waiting room was dark, the only sounds being the drip of the coffee machine and the vending machine cooling system. The receptionist took the vitals, handed me a wristband and told me to wait. What I was waiting for wasn’t quite clear to me, and I soon grew uneasy. My mom asked for a nurse, as my moaning and wailing became unbearable. In came a nurse named Ann. She was short, slightly overweight, and wore big glasses. She seemed to be one of the kindest people in the world. Her warm, bubbly personality lightened my spirits and kindled a sense of hope. After placing another ice pack on my numb wrist, she started telling stories: her son was off to college, her daughter was finishing high school, and her dog had just gotten a new collar. And before I knew it, an hour had passed and a doctor walked in with my x-rays.

We’ve all had experiences like mine with Ann. She was the right person at the right time, who was able to give something so much more than an ice pack or an Advil. She walked in the waiting room, calmed a six-foot-tall, terrified thirteen year-old, and had the insight to know that the best medicine of all is really the oldest tried-and-true form: kindness. It is those times in life that one never forgets. People like Ann are those who work miracles in simple ways. They come into your life for just an hour, change it, and leave just as quickly as they came.

I never saw Ann again. I’m sure she’s still changing people’s lives, making them feel the magic that she has been able to share for years. It’s great to always think of Ann when I get down, of that time that cold February night; in the emergency room where Ann came and changed my life with nothing but kindness. Kindness in its simplest and most pure form can change a person’s life. People like Ann are rare but not impossible to find. Too many times we rush through our day, caring for no one but ourselves; sometimes we even won’t ask for help. But if we let someone reach out, it becomes an extremely memorable experience. This I believe.