Mirachelle

Mirachelle

From Chicken Soup for the Nurse's Soul Second Dose

Mirachelle

People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light within.

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Joel and Holly held hands as they always did . . . some of the very best medicine. I gently inserted the fine needle and began his chemotherapy treatment. Their baby was due soon. Joel was quiet, but Holly shared their hopes for the future. Now that Joel was completing treatments, we hoped he’d be in remission and have quality time with the new baby. He was discharged that day, with plans to attend a Lamaze class that night.

A few months later, on a warm spring day, Joel and Holly’s baby was on the way. We oncology nurses were invited to labor and delivery.

We grieved to see Joel in a wheelchair, now on a morphine drip. His frail voice barely spoke. He took Holly’s hand and smiled like any expectant father. Warm tears filled my eyes. We oncology nurses stayed to care for Joel as the L&D nurses cared for Holly. How blessed we were to be able to bring brief joy to this couple.

As labor progressed, both Holly and Joel napped. The sound of the clicking from the infusion pump relieving Joel’s pain comforted me too. When the delivery was near, we moved Joel onto a stretcher, with all the clumsy equipment needed for him, and aligned it next to the delivery table.

Holly pushed with the strength of the warrior she was, and when their baby girl arrived, she was placed on Joel’s chest. We all cried as the new mom and dad smiled.

“She’s our beautiful baby girl,” Joel said hoarsely.

“Her name is Mirachelle. A combination of Michelle and miracle,” Holly explained. “We hadn’t planned this baby . . . she is our miracle.”

Their baby spent many days on the hospital bed with her father, which gave her mother the strength to cope.

Too soon Joel’s battle was over.

Though this story happened many years ago, the memory of this meaningful event has not faded with time. Today’s health care changes of short staffs and short stays make it improbable that it could ever happen again.

I truly hope I am wrong.

Ruth Bredbenner

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