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Sharon's Story About Hope

For some time, I worked with patients who suffered from chronic kidney disease. These were the patients whose kidneys had failed and required dialysis treatments three times a week just to stay alive. I've worked in many dialysis clinics throughout the years, and they are all pretty much the same: a large room with chairs and machines lining the perimeter and the smell of chemicals wafting in the air.

A photo of a smiling older nurse in a white uniform with a blue lanyard around her neck and a watch attached to her pocket.

One day, I started a new patient on her very first treatment. She’d lost enough kidney function that she would require dialysis for the rest of her life. In fact, the closest thing to a cure would be a kidney transplant, which could take up to five years to happen. I started sharing all of this with her in a quest to educate her about her situation, but she stopped me mid-sentence and asked, "So you are telling me I will never get better, that my kidneys will never work again?" I responded, "That’s right, your kidneys have failed, and they will never regain function."

My thought was to move her past that fact so I could counsel her on what happens next. What I wasn’t really thinking about was that she was only 38 years old and deeply faithful. She tearfully interrupted me and said, "I believe God can heal me." My heart sank; I didn’t know what to say next.

After several minutes of uncomfortable silence, I placed my hand on her shoulder, looked into her eyes, softened my voice, and offered, "Yes, there is always hope."

And there it was, the most truthful, and probably most therapeutic thought I could have offered her. That day, I learned that even when we feel nothing is left to give medically, you should never take away a patient’s hope. In fact, you should offer it.

two hands cupped around a heart shaped rock that says hope.

For more stories like this one, pick up a copy of

Off the Chart A Nurse's Journey of Heart and Humor

Published by Jennifer Tipton / This post may contain affiliate links.

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