#369: I Saw a Human Angel
Tuesday, July 06, 2010
I had a most unusual experience this morning -- I saw an angel. Not the Biblical image of one with wings and a halo but a human angel.
I was standing in a lab waiting to have a blood sample drawn when a boy (his Mom said he was 13) began to act up. Turns out he is autistic and deathly afraid of needles. Knowing where he was raised his discomfort level and he began to misbehave. His mom tried her best to soothe and calm him but was not successful. My heart ached realizing that she and others in her situation go through this many times every day.
What could I do? I was at a loss as to how to help, if any help was wanted, other than to give the mother an understanding smile and nod.
A young man who appeared to be in his 20s came over and began talking to the boy and offered him a cup of water. The boy immediately calmed down and held out his cup for a refill. The young man and the mother began talking and he started to touch the boy on the shoulder, offering high-5s and joking with him while Mom told about how trying it was working a full-time job and being a full-time caregiver role for her son.
As I stood next to them I couldn't help overhearing the weariness in the mother's voice. After a few minutes the boy calmed down and the man said he'd be right back and went outside. Before he left he offered to help take the boy inside the exam room if the mother needed him to.
The nurse called the boy's name and he was fine until he got inside the smaller exam room and saw the needle for his blood draw. Then he came screaming back into the lobby and sat on the floor in front of the door. He refused Mom's instructions to stand up and didn't acknowledge her assurances that all would be okay.
A lady also waiting asked the young man to come back inside. He did and helped take the boy to the exam room. I heard no screams or refusals at all once they were gone and I was only a few feet away.
After his procedure, the boy and his mother came back through the lobby to leave. The man walked out with them and waited as the boy was seatbelted into his seat in the car. They waved and Mom drove off.
They called me then for my appointment so I never had a chance to express my amazement to the young man for how well he related to the boy. I regret I didn't have that opportunity.
But as I walked to my car I was convinced this young man will be blessed in his life for his caring and helpful attitude. His compassion and the way he connected with the boy was inspiring to see.
I was also convinced I had seen an angel at work.