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In April 2014, I had a major surgery, a hysterectomy. The day after the operation the catheters were removed, and the nurse told me I had to get out of bed and walk a little. I felt exhausted, and every movement caused me a lot of pain, especially the sharp pinching sensation of the surgical staples on my abdomen was very uncomfortable. However, even with the pain and discomfort I could get up and I sat on a chair by the bed. I was short of breath and the pain worsened after the great effort I made.

I was there dreading to get up and walk when an old lady came into the ward and walked directly towards me. She looked around 80 years old; she was walking with a slow-to-medium-paced speed. Her hair was white and well combed. Her pale face glowed in contrast to the bright red long coat she wore, and I could see that under her coat she was wearing a hospital gown.

She approached and said, “you are very pretty.” Her kind comment took me by surprise as in that moment the least I believed is that I looked pretty. However I replied, “thank you very much, you are a very kind lady.” Immediately she took my hand and said “I am going to pray for you.” A very warm and comforting sensation invaded me. I really needed those words in those moments. I needed someone to comfort me and to make me feel that despite how I felt everything would be okay. This strange lady came and made feel safe and loved.

I thanked her for her kindness and asked her name. “My name is Pat,” she replied, “and I am in the next ward.”  And then she left, leaving me confused but feeling much better. I even forgot the pain for a little while.

The next two days I was in the hospital I could move about more and even though I felt very uncomfortable and pained, I walked several times to the bathroom. Every time I passed in front of the next door ward I looked for her but could not see her or her bright red coat.

Finally, the day came when I had to leave the hospital. I never saw Pat again but that special and brief moment I met her remains in my mind and my heart. Sometimes I think maybe God sent one of his angels to comfort me or maybe she was just a human being like me, but somehow God made her come to comfort me at that moment when I needed it most.

Perla Kirkham
Wales, UK

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