Im quite frequently asked how I do what I do. How can I see what I see and be ok with it? The short answer
is that I love what I do. I love feeling like im making a differance. The longer answer is that all of the horrible
things ive seen and been a part of are overshadowed by the beauty of childbirth and the feeling of saving a life. I
had problems for a long time with some of the more heinous things ive experienced, but in this line of work, you have to learn
that you just cant be perfect. Some people just cant be saved. So ill take this space to apologize to those
I couldnt save.
-To the SIDS baby and his family back in Okinawa. Im sorry I couldnt save your son. He was long past any
help, much less mine, when we found him. Remembering finger-sweeping the vomit out of his mouth and trying to do CPR
while I cried and ran with him in my hands haunted me for years.
-To the husband of my Japanese Peter Pan. Seven stories onto concrete means there isnt anything a Trauma Surgeon
can do, much less a 19 year old EMT. I saw you screaming while the MP's held you back from the ruin of your wife and
felt totally helpless. Sorry man, some things defy explanation. Maybe god can tell you why, someday.
-To my first real emergency as an EMT. I still remember your name sir. I remember the smell of your last
meal in your home and on your breath as I broke your ribs doing CPR. I remember the look in your eyes as I shocked you
so many times. Maybe being able to bring you back, only to have you go through the agony of a massive heart attack wasnt
the best use of my skills, but what else was I to do?
-To the middle aged man in a panic on the Angio table, im sorry. You felt your heart dying and I told you not to
worry. What you had been died on the table, but we kept you alive for weeks, cutting away the pieces of your body as
the drugs made them rot away. I remember how we referred to you as "the stump", but our attempt at humor was our way
of coping with the horror youd become. Like the writer said, "The living keep living and the dead only know that it
is better to be alive".