I have just witnessed a terrifying thing. So please excuse any misprints or type-os today - I am still a little shaken.
I was sitting in the foyer of one of my class buildings a moment ago, doing homework. I was deeply immersed in my missionary discussion outline when a voice startled me into reality - a young woman commanding someone else to "Call 911!" She was kneeling beside another young woman, who was lying on the ground, motionless. My first impulse was to run around like a chicken with its head cut off until I found someone from campus medical personell. This I did not do, of course, though almost every internal instinct I possessed was telling me to. Instead I kept still and stood by, just in case another pair of hands was needed. But for the most part, I knew that the most productive thing I could do was to keep out of the way.
The people who had first seen the unconscious girl collapsed were gathered around her, and from what I could gather from their conversation the situation was thus: she was breathing and had a steady pulse, but her jaw was clenched shut. Nobody knew who she was, though one member of the group had found a cellphone on the girl's person and was trying to contact her parents. She was wearing some sort of moniter, maybe for heart rate or bloodsugar, that was beeping inscessantly but not giving any clear reading. Only one or two people touched her, calling her name and cheking her pulse - everyone else kept hands off.
A few minutes later the campus medical personell arrived and took over. They ran vitals, talked with the parents on the girl's cell, and moved her onto a stretcher. Just as they were about to strap her down, her pulse stopped. Immediately one of the medical officers began CPR, his hands pressing her chest over and over, trying to put a beat into her heart. "One! Two! Three! Four....," he counted aloud and he pushed. "Twenty-seven, twenty-eight, twenty-nine, thirty!" Check for a pulse... still nothing... begin again. "One! Two! Three! Four!" The whole room held its breath.
The city EMTs got on the scene less than a minute later and told everyone to vacate the area. I had felt totally powerless all the while - I'd been praying like crazy just to feel as though I were doing something helpful - and so having a command to follow was a relief. I packed up my things as quickly as possible and headed out the door. I lingered a moment, giving one last look at the scene behind. Then I heared four words announced - the four most beautiful words that could possible have fallen upon my ears: "She's got a pulse!" I heaved a sigh of relief that was almost a sob. The girl was still alive. She taken away to an ambulance just after I left, and hopefully will be alright.
The bottom line is this. I've discovered something though this experience. Those young men and women I watched in action today stayed calm and in perfect control in the face of a fatality, and with their training performed a miracle. A heart had stopped beating... and they brought it to life again. Who can describe such an act as anything less?
Guardian angels don't wear white - they wear EMT uniforms. And lab coats, and nurse's scrubs, and surgeons masks. Their deft fingers and unsurpassed knowledge are the instruments of salvation. I know this for a fact - my own life was saved by a genius of a man who had worked hard to gain the knowledge and skill necessary to operate on a heart the size of a golf ball. I was ten days old at the time, and I have not met with Doctor Hawks since. But I hope that one day I will be able to thank him personally for every new day I live to see. That is my challenge for you today, readers - take some time to do whatever you can to express gratitude for the medical personell in your life = those who have kept you living, breathing, healthy, and happy. We can never thank them enough for the miracles they perform every day. They all are truely guardian angels on earth.