Visit From Mom's Patient
Location: Little Rock, Arkansas
Date of Encounter: 1987
In 1987 I was living in Little Rock, Arkansas with my mom. I was 17 years old, my mom, a nurse, worked at St. Vincent's hospital in Little Rock. One day we were experiencing some very severe weather with high winds, rain, power/phones out throughout the city. My mom suggested I come to work with her so I wouldn't be stuck home alone with no power or phone — she was on the 11 PM – 7 AM shift. My mom was working on the oncology unit which is a cancer unit. There was a nice lounge for staff, families, and patients, so I made myself comfortable on a couch with the remote and turned on the TV. My mom said I could turn all the lights off because she and her supervisor would take their breaks at the desk so I could sleep. I left the kitchen light on. The couch I was on was facing the kitchen. At about 1:30 AM I saw a patient come in, open the fridge, and decide there was nothing good in there. He then turned and took a powdered jelly donut off the plate on the table. He stood in the doorway, looked at me, and smiled. I smiled back. He stood there for about maybe a minute, not very long, he smiled again, and nodded goodnight, and I said goodnight to him. About 3:30 AM my mom came in to check on me.
I told my mom about the patient I had seen. She said, "What patient? They are all in bed. I've done rounds three times since we got here." She asked me to describe the person I saw. I described his clothing, facial/physical features, what he ate, and how his smile was so pleasant and friendly. She just stared at me with her mouth open then she proceeded to tell me about a patient of her's that had recently passed away. I had him down pat. He loved jelly donuts, was always a wonderful person to be around, and his wife, kids, and friends loved him so much. My mom said they would talk about how having teenagers could be a little crazy at times and how he always said he would love to meet me and my sister. It was a beautiful experience.