The Unexpected Present

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Higher Quality of Care

aircraft flying above city

Doctors tell me that Yuri is a very sick man. 48 hours in the ICU, he’s in critical condition hanging on. Just hanging on. On a ventilator. Tested EIGHT times negatively for COVID. Doctors do not know what is causing his uncertain physical condition. They are testing for everything and anything. It’s a mystery.

They allow me to stay because they don’t think he’ll make it. The Chaplain came in and a Nurse’s Aide to hold my hand. Now they tell me he needs a higher quality of care. This is something that was mentioned by our friends a couple in the medical field that know what happens to people in the state that Yuri is in. If he remains where he is, he will die.

There’s a scramble to find a hospital that will accept him. If there is a bed. Covid cases spiked and an empty bed is hard to find. I call in anyone I know that can help move the process faster. There’s a waitlist for Morristown Memorial, the best in New Jersey. But I can’t wait. No time to lose. He has an Accepting Physician at Westchester Medical Center, a teaching hospital.

Yuri will have to be airlifted by helicopter and once I give consent they are there in no time. Watching this “A” Team prepare him for the transport I’m nervous about everything. He’s wrapped like a mummy strapped onto the gurney. As they wheel him past me, they allow me to caress his face and put an icon of the Holy Protectress on his chest. I say it will protect them all. They thank me. Sincerely.

When they disappear around the corner, my knees start to buckle and I had to sit for a while to gather my strength and understand the meaning of it all. The aides try to rally me with optimism telling stories of their pets. Taking my mind off what just happened, I thank them for their work. On the road home, I pull off into a parking lot and stare out onto the wide-open spaces of countryside, a farm sanctuary. Where will it end? It’s only beginning.

However, Yuri’s heart is strong. His will to live to play his violin another day is steadfast. His vital signs remain steady as they were able to maintain, yet it can go either way. Taking it day by day. I pray that he survives this test and comes back stronger to play and sing his beautiful melodies. Your good wishes and prayers are truly appreciated. Thank you.

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