Audra Krell

On Purpose

ICU

Our last day in the Centro Medico San Lucas hospital was the most difficult. We had few patients in post- op for hours and then the unit exploded. Suddenly there were several discharges, four new patients and an emergency trauma sitting in the waiting room. I’d heard about him all day. His injuries were extensive and he only spoke Mayan. Not a bit of Spanish.

The boy was 18, one year younger than our oldest son. He’d been in a horrible fight; someone hit him in the face repeatedly with a broken beer bottle. A local alley war changed the young man’s life forever. A split second decision left him with vision in only one eye and deep cuts which will certainly scar. He’s the victim of a drama with eternal consequences for all involved.

When he came to the PACU, his face bore the tracks of a hundred stitches. Some curved in the shape of a bottle, some random and jagged, the way angry glass carelessly claims it’s real estate. Surgical bandages covered his eye, his expression passive.

I expected terror and even rage, but the boy was somewhere deep inside himself, far away. My momma heart broke, for him and for everything that would be different now.

But it was his father who took my breath away. His father’s eyes that made me want to cry out in pain. His father spoke a little Spanish, but there aren’t enough words in the world, in any language, that I could speak to comfort him. As a parent, I grieved with him, worried over his internal heart injuries and wished I could literally infuse him with hope.

All I could do was use my eyes. We took gentle care of the boy and heaped grace and mercy on him in the form of blankets, water and pain meds. I smiled at his father at every turn, praying he could “hear” me.

I still pray he can hear me.

I see you brother. I’m standing with you. There is something much bigger than us here. God is with us and has plans for your son, plans to prosper and never fail him. Amen.

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6 thoughts on “ICU

  1. Oh, how beautiful a story you told. I too am grieved by the unspeakable tragedy we humans visit on each other. Such a horrible reminder of our inescapable need for a Savior.

    • I really thought his physical injuries would be too much for me. While they were hard to see, it is the internal pain that grieved me the most. I saw a father’s dreams for his son, dying before my eyes and also a fear in the father. Praying they know the Savior.

  2. What a heart wrenching story. All we can do is show compassion and you did… God had plans for you to be there… we might not know why this side of heaven. I’m praying for that young man and his family…

  3. Just wow. There are no words.

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