Guest Blog: In Pursuit…

I’m so excited to have my first guest blogger. I asked one of my oldest and closest friends to write a post, I was pretty pumped when she agreed.

While this won’t be your typical running post, Elayna has a lot of great topics to talk about. Here’s your chance to hear about what she has to say….

Having worked in the hospital for a week and a half now, it didn’t take me long to realize that ordinary days in the hospital can turn into extra-ordinary days in a matter of moments.  We still have our good days and bad days in the hospital.  After learning that one of our patients had passed away earlier in the day, and another one was given a terminal diagnosis of cancer, I thought my emotional rollercoaster was over—it was just a bad day in the clinic.  But instead I found myself reflecting on how even after the darkest days, the sun will rise…and that’s exactly what happened in the clinic today. Below, I reflect on three individuals’ decisions to transform one of life’s most unfortunate experiences—death—into something that brings new life to those in need: organ donation.

You see, I am a physical therapy student in my first acute care (inpatient) clinical rotation in a hospital.  My clinical instructor is a 30-something physical therapist and Cleveland native. She is the most patient, kind-hearted PT I’ve met in the field—and her smile is just about as big as her heart. There’s something about the way she manages her patient-care that I can’t quite quantify or put words to… but I hope that someday I’ll be able to reflect the quality of her care in my practice.   She has two young boys and a loving husband who was placed onto the kidney transplant list about 8 years ago or so. They have spent the last 8 years waiting.

I was sitting in the nurses’ station, charting up our treatments for the final patients of the day…when something extra-ordinary happened.  While we were finishing up our documentation and getting ready to end the day, she received a page from her husband that read: “23 911 911.” Now, “23” happens to be their anniversary date—a code they use to designate good news. (The 911 meant there was an imminent situation on their hands.)  She immediately called her husband and received the news—after 8 years of waiting, they had a kidney.  A 60-something year-old man had chosen to donate his organs.

Earlier in the week, on Monday February 27th, a very unfortunate incident at Chardon High School lead to the death of 3 students, while another victim holds a medical status that has yet to be determined.  Two of the three students who were killed by this tragic shooting, Russell King Jr. and Demetrius Hewlin (aged 16 and 17) chose to be organ donors.  Their matured decisions to be organ donors led to gifts of renewed life for up to sixteen individuals in the Greater Cleveland area in waiting. While few people anticipate death in a constructive way, especially at such a young age, both Russell and Demetrius made a commitment to life by pledging their bodies to those in need.

You can do this too—if you are not already an organ donor, you have the power to register at this link. To learn more information about organ donation, please visit http://www.organdonor.gov/index.html.

Elayna is a student in The Ohio State University’s Doctorate of Physical Therapy Program and native Clevelander. Her interests are in wellness, volunteering, food&drink, and all things Cleveland. If you like what you’ve read, please visit her blog at enowak.blogspot.com.

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