Trent’s doctor told him to go to the emergency room. He was having trouble breathing and, since he had a history of heart problems, the doctor felt that the hospital was the best place for him.
Trent arrived at the hospital around 2 p.m. and by 5 p.m. he had lost count of how many people had cared for him in one way or another. At the front door he was greeted by a young woman who quickly took down his information and accompanied him to a small room where a triage nurse could assess his condition. From there he was taken to an examining room where a nurse and an EMT were waiting. Since his blood oxygen level was dangerously low he was immediately given oxygen, an IV port was inserted in his arm and an EKG started. Within minutes the on-call cardiologist arrived. He listened closely to Trent’s account of what had brought him into the emergency room and, in great detail, to how he was feeling. He determined that Trent should be admitted and a transfer nurse arrived to arrange for him to be taken to a permanent room in the cardiac unit.
That was a week ago. Trent is tentatively scheduled to be discharged in a few days. Since his arrival at the hospital there has been a steady stream of doctors, nurses, physicians’ assistants, nursing assistants, pharmacists, respiratory therapists and others in and out of his room. Blood has been drawn and healthy meals delivered.
Trent’s pastor drove 40 miles so that he might receive anointing of the sick and every morning a representative from one of the nearby Catholic churches comes to share communion.
“Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them … and also as much of the fish as they wanted …” and the people had more than enough to eat. Many people have promised to pray for Trent’s recovery. Dozens of healthcare professionals continue to bring their fish and barley loaves to be blessed and distributed. “… but what good are these for so many?” You might want to ask Trent that question when he comes home.
Van Benthem is a member of the Secular Franciscan Order and a longtime pastoral minister in the diocese.