The Kindness of Strangers was a Welcome Comfort [Letter]
by Patricia K. Severinsen
On Aug. 27, I was taking my husband to his cardiologist to have his pacemaker checked. It was a hot day, in the 90s, and as we approached the medical building behind Laurel Regional Hospital, I assisted my husband with his walker toward the doors.
He said to me, “I don’t think I’m going to make it.” I replied, “Try to get up to the shady area.” He took two more steps and fell over. I was frantic. I asked if anyone knew how to administer CPR, and then I called the cardiologist’s office to let them know that my husband was unresponsive.
A crowd of people, approaching the doors, went into action. One woman called 911 for me. Someone else ran to a doctor’s office on the first floor of the building for help, and two doctors immediately came out and began CPR on my husband. A nurse from the cardiologist’s office came down and assisted the doctors. The ambulance came and began working on my husband. Women came to me, embraced me, soothed me, and prayed with me. Everyone looked on, quiet and concerned. The nurse went with me to the ER where she stayed with me until the pastor from my church arrived. There was nothing more the doctors could do for my husband, so we prayed.
As I look back on that day, as difficult as it was for me, my pain was eased by the kindness and caring of many people I did not know personally. I want those who surrounded my husband and me to know how grateful I am for their help, love and concern. These people, although strangers, were more than that — they were brothers and sisters to me.
Patricia K. Severinsen
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