No, not the new-age “fairy creatures with wings who spread pixie dust” type belief in angels, but the real honest to God people who are placed next to you in times of crisis?
Let me share a story with you and maybe it will help you decide.
My daughter Emma was referred to the hospital yesterday by her GP as an emergency and she needed an urgent operation to prevent sepsis. She had an abscess that had grown suddenly over a couple of days on her tailbone – very painful and quite dangerous if it had been left. She had it before about 2 years ago and the scar tissue from that operation made this one a bit more tricky, so when it started to appear last Thursday we were on alert for it getting to the point where she needed medical intervention.
She went to the walk-in centre on Saturday to get some antibiotics to try and stave off another operation (not the nicest of procedures for a 19yr old girl to go through) but yesterday the abscess had developed to such a stage that it was affecting her ability to walk properly and she had a fever – a sign that the infection had transferred into her body. She saw the family doctor first thing in the morning yesterday who immediately referred her to the hospital.
We got to there at about 10am and we reported to the Surgical Triage Unit as per instructions and waited for the doctor to come and tell us what was going to happen. The staff there were brilliant, really calming and professional and nothing was too much bother for them. The nurse who was assigned to Emma was fantastic. So soothing and caring, she was wonderful. She confirmed what the GP had said and told us the doctor needed to see it. A little while later the senior doctor came and had a look at it and confirmed what the nurse had said, and said the surgeon needed to see it but we had to wait because he was in theatre at the time and he would be down asap.
Sure enough the surgeon appeared a little while later and examined Emma, and told us that he needed to remove it urgently and she was going to be put to the top of the list because of the level of infection etc.
It all happened a bit quick after that and it was a bit bewildering to be honest. I had accompanied Emma to the hospital because Kevin couldn’t get out of work to come with us, so when she was being prepped for surgery and being taken down to the theatre I was on my own with her. I’m not a person to be scared of being alone, in fact I relish being on my own sometimes, but this was different. My daughter was about to have emergency surgery and I was using all my strength and presence of mind to be calm and reassuring for her, but inside I was in a numb panic.
At precisely the time I was asked to leave so they could take her in, which was the time when I felt the most alone and scared, my old friend Matt (who works at the hospital) appeared in the corridor next to me.
Precisely the time I was at my most bewildered and alone, my friend was suddenly there. Coincidence? Or divine intervention? I believe placement of a friend at the time of crisis to me is the placement of an angel by God, and it was proved to me yesterday with the appearance of Matt.
It only took a few words of comfort and a squeeze of the hand to make me feel a million times better, but without him there at that exact time I’m not sure how I would have coped waiting for Emma to come out of theatre.
It could be argued that seeing as though he works at the hospital the chances of me bumping into him would have been pretty high, but the hospital is a huge place and his job takes him all over it. His responsibilities take him to other hospitals in the Trust as well, so to be at that hospital, in that corridor, at that time, in the moment of crisis….? Nope, to me, that was not coincidence. That was God at work. And yes, I believe in angels.
The outcome of the operation was very successful. Emma spent the night on the ward and was able to come home this afternoon. She is actually lay on the settee next to me propped up with cushions, our comfort blanket (the one we always pull out when we’re ill) and several doses of strong painkillers. And of course she has my support and my help for bringing cups of tea and plates of toast etc! She will have to have the dressings changed every day for the next few days and then every other day after that. They excised some tissue as well as the infection, and because the wound is so deep it is packed with ribbon and not stitched, so it has to be repacked and redressed to promote healing from the inside out. It’s too deep to be allowed to heal from the outside in because it will get reinfected again straight away. She will have to have another small operation in a few months to deal with the scar tissue but it won’t be as invasive as this one was thank God.
So what do you think? Have I convinced you about the work of angels? Or are you of a scientific mind and believe that things like this are all down to coincidence? I’d love to hear your thoughts.