Monday, February 1, 2010

be an EMT...

Standing in line donning Hawaiian print shirts, sandals, and straw hats, travelers from across the nation waited in line at LAX to board a plane to paradise. The usual noise cluttered the terminal as excitement wafted in the air.

A shriek pierced the noise and a call for help brought the airline check-in stations to a halt. The body of an adult man laid on the ground helplessly as someone yelled for a doctor. An average looking man with a small carry-on rushed to the body. He flung off his jacket, tilted the victims head back and instantaneously begin rescue breathing and CPR.

I watched in horror as the friend of the victim tried stopping his mouth from touching the mouth of the victim, but I couldn't understand why until I heard, He has AIDS!

The air left the room as the doctor sat on his knees, held a lifeless head in his hands, and questioned if this man's life was worth his own.

Five years later, I'm still asking the same question.

The doctor took a vow to hold Life sacred. So have I. No, I'm not a medical doctor, but I'm a spiritual caretaker as a lover of Jesus Christ. When rushed to a hospital in dire need of care, no one asks if you're Christian or Buddhist, gay or straight, legal or illegal. The primary focus is to save life.

As a spiritual EMT, my job is to get people to the Doctor, not ask questions. Why? Because Life is important whether you're White, Black, Gay, Straight, Asian, Haitian, or not of this nation. I never want to grab my carry-on, put on my jacket, and leave the airport terminal without trying to save a life. Why? Because I don't want to live with regrets like the doctor on his knees at Los Angeles International Airport five years ago.

Are you emergency medical technician? Do you want to be? If you were the doctor, how would have you responded?


DToThaG said...

What a scary scene at LAX - that must be an event you will never forget. Im surprised the Dr did not continue CPR since the chance of contracting HIV via saliva is very slim. Just took a CPR class in 09 to be prepared just in case, I would have kept performing CPR on that person - the point is to try and save that persons life and not give up on them.

Physical death does not discriminate - no matter what nationality or lifestyle it will catch up to everyone someday. So as spiritual EMT's we should not discriminate trying to save a life either no matter what the circumstance.

Cindy A. said...

Wow. To quote pastor P from yesterday's service, "I'd like to think I wouldn't rank out." I would seriously like to think that when push comes to shove, I would put another's life above my own. We actually talked about this at Genesis (Ro 5: 6-8).

Something to reflect on: Think of the "worse" sin you've ever committed, in SPITE of your sin, with the KNOWLEDGE of your sin, Christ still put your life above His own.

Ultimately, JC is the EMT we wanna be.

christy said...

wow...i wanto to say that I would have kept trying to save his life. I want to say that i would have kept trying becaue I knew no matter what happened i knew that my God would have taken care of me and my my mind i can say that's what I would have done, but I guess u can never know until u r put in that's like Peter...he swore he would not deny knowing Jesus, yet he did it three times.

As far as being a spiritual EMT...I want to help save peoples lives...i pray that God gives me the courage to try and the love to give them...

Bianca said...

@DG: True, but he was married (he wore a wedding ring) and perhaps he had kids. As a husband and father, I'm not sure he wanted to take the risk. It was touch call, but the doctor up SO upset that he put his mouth on the guys mouth unprotected.
In the doctor's defense, there was nothing he could do. The man was dead.

@Cindy: You're like my Socrates. I LOVE your insights. How was Genesis? I miss you all.

@Christy: You hit the nail on the head... courage and love. Love you!

Diandra Ann said...

I think I would have done it. Smart or not. Not sure what that says about me.

Anonymous said...

I probably would have continued and done everything I could to save the man. I'm growing in Christ and trying hard to become a spiritual EMT myself.

Christina Cho said...

This gave me goosebumps while reading it. I was just doing devotions this morning and about Jesus's resurrecting Lazurus from the dead, now that defied all cultural, and societal norms... He even had to risk being stoned by the Jews, but he did it cause he Loved them.

I love your analogy about being a spiritual EMT, life is essential, even on the brink of death.

Thank for posting :]

Katy said...

I don't know what I would have done in the moment..most likely I wouldn't have given CPR because I have two kids to think about. I know that my GOD can protect me from any sickness or disease, but in that split second I think fear may take over. I would more likely start praying for him...praying for life to be restored, air to fill his lungs, and even for the AIDS to be gone. I often have dreams I pray for people and they are raised from the dead..just waiting for the opportunity! :)

Matthew T. said...

You sure have touched a very serious subject. I am no doctor, but if you see something, say something and or do something about it. CPR to help revitalize the mad was an admirable thing that person had done to save the man's life. Although his efforts didn't help much, it comes to show how heroic some people can be.

In short words if you see something say something, if it turns out to be nothing, that's the way it will stay!

Sare said...

As a health worker I definately would like to think that I would have kept going but we never truely know until we are in that position and when you have to give CPR trust me there isn't enough time in the world to think of everything! (Speaking from experience and i had to do it on a hospital ward which was fully equipped not in an airport!)

I'm planning on making my new job description spiritual Ambo (our equivelent in Aussieland!) thanks for the motivation and the thoughts :)

p.s. yes you can certainly come to New Zealand i know your sister has recently been there!

Anonymous said...

I am such a scardy cat so I think u know what I would have done. Love u bi.

Bianca said...

In the heat of the moment, I would have done it.

Not because I'm holy, but I'm impulsive.

It was so frightening to see the entire thing go down, but it really has given me perspective on the value of life.

Anonymous said...

Bianca, I have seen something similar sadly these days with too many lawsuits, sometimes doctors or nurses just hold back in fear of, what if something goes wrong, the person can suit you and ruin your career and thier lives. but i do understand that as a person we may want to help but these days it's very hard to do so! = (

His Jewel said...

I know I'm a day late, but I still wanted to respond. I am a former EMT from 1989-1992. I would not have continued. Why?
1. He is already dead and the chances of bringing him back are slim.
2. He has a TERMINAL illness. MOST people with a terminal illness such as AIDS, terminal Cancer, etc. sign a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate). Why? Because why do they want to be resuscitated when they are already terminal? Most just want to die naturally when their heart stops.

If this dr. would have continued, it would have only been for show, for the people standing around to not think bad of him. Drs and Nurses speak to terminally ill patients or their family to fill out DNR's. If I haven't driven my answer home, it's like doing CPR to a 100 yr old. NOT to say that someone who is 100 yrs old does not deserve to live or that their life is not valuable because it is, but they have lived a full life and the Lord is taking them home. We have to learn to let the Lord bring them home.

Now, as a Spiritual EMT, EVERY SINGLE LIFE is valuable! We are all terminal and one day closer to death and need to be saved before we go to meet the Father! So get out there and do Spiritual CPR on the those dying without Christ. =)

Love ya, B! See ya at your Women's Retreat! Wooo hooo!!

Laurel said...

I'm sure that I would have thought of my 13 children, and I would have not wanted to risk leaving them. While I know that God could take me home every day, I believe that He wants me to do all that I can to stay healthy in order to take care of my children.

Anonymous said...

I am a Christian with no medical training and like others who have commented before me I would say there is no saying for sure what one would do until they are actually in that life-defining moment.
That having been said, I live in a country where HIV and AIDS is a daily, personal reality... I have friends and family... and know of about lots of people, some of them just children... who live with this horrible virus in their body and my fervent hope is that if any of these people I love dearly were the ones lying on the floor, in need of a life-saving breath, there would be someone brave enough to give it to them.


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