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A nurse I do not know is in a coma in Canada today, and I’m praying for his recovery.

I don’t know him, but he’s a nurse — and all nurses, everywhere, are precious.

living in gratitude©

living in gratitude©

They save lives; they help heal; they ease pain.

They’re a comfort, in more ways than medicine can measure.

Spend any time in hospital, and you’ll realize what a difference nurses make to your physical and mental recovery.

I had several male nurses, during critical hospital stays in Germany and Canada, and I still remember their compassion and sensitivity.

The male nurse who flew with me from Germany to Canada was gentle and kind; the doctor, on the other hand, was rude and insufferable. (He droned on and on about his world travels as a physician, and did nothing else but sleep through the entire trip. The nurse did everything.)

Another male nurse in Canada noticed I wasn’t sleeping at night — I slept only in the day, when I felt safe — so offered soothing words to help. He would stop by, late, just to reassure me, and I could finally sleep.

Another assigned to move my stationary body from bed to bath was sweet and strong. I especially appreciated his efforts to allow me some privacy, after months of feeling as if I was a lab specimen for one medical team after another. (Not complaining; I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for all that help.)

Nurses do the dirty work. They listen to all the whining. They get little thanks or praise. Yet they’re the real bond that makes hospital and community teams such a vital part of our collective health.

I don’t know this male nurse in a coma, but he’s the friend of a nurse I love: My sister.

Through decades of nursing in two Canadian provinces — in urban hospitals, agencies, schools and group homes — she has always shown that her profession cares more, does more, comforts more, than most of us imagine.

I’m sending prayers of gratitude to her and healing prayers for her friend. His community is bereft without him.