What is the Sequoia project?

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Wausau, Wisconsin, United States
The Sequoia tree is one of the largest in the world. The seed is the size of a grain of wheat. One kind act will often seem unimportant but has ripple effects across humanity.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Helping to save lives.

Home looked real good after a long and difficult week. Sandi had a choice. She could go home for the day or decide to stay at work and help give H1N1 shots out in another area of the hospital. Sandi is a cardiac surgery nurse and is on her feet all day long. On some nights her legs cramp up so bad that she has sit in a bathtub of hot water. Massaging them does little good and the hot water seems to be what works best. When she gets a chance to go home early she usually takes advantage of the opportunity.

Today was different. The H1N1 flu virus was declared a pandemic. The president even declared a national emergency to help in this medicine getting moved quickly. This flu was attacking the youngest and most vulnerable. Thousands of people die each year from the flu but this was a much stronger strain. The state we live in lead the nation in statistics when this flu first hit the country. Medicine was needed badly.

Because Sandi is a health care worker she was considered as “high-risk”. We also have 2 grandchildren who are considered to be in the same category. Fear increased as this virus spread at a unbelievably fast rate. What could a single person do about something that nature has known since its existence? Thousands of people were lined up, across our great land, with hopes in getting vaccinated. Most were told to return later because the vaccine was in very short supply. The coming winter didn’t look good for millions of lives.

When the medicine (some of it) arrived she knew that her help was needed. She would have loved to have just gone home and put her feet up. Staying she knew would bring the painful leg cramping on in the evening. It had been one long week.

She considered the choice for about 2 seconds. She wanted to help. She spent the day giving out one shot after another. She filled out documentations when she wasn’t giving the shots. It was a long and tedious day but an important one.

What do we do with the choices that come our way? Do we think only of ourselves and what’s in our own best interest? Or do we think about what the right thing is regardless if we are tired, sore, and only wanting to sit down and rest? We are probably faced with these decisions many times each week. What do we do?

I was really proud of Sandi today. She never does cease to amaze me. Her kind ways stood out to me the first day we met. Her compassion for people really comes from her heart. She knew that it was important to help in anyway she could. That night her legs did in fact cramp up. Most of the time, because it happens in the middle of the night, I’m not even aware that she is having problems. The pain is sometimes so bad that she cries. This is one tough woman and rarely sheds a tear from pain. This evening I heard the tears and quickly got out of the bed to be with her. Not much I could do except rest her head and still try to massage the cramps. The muscles had tighten up so bad that her calves felt like stone.

She could have made the choice to come home early. She didn’t though. She listened to her heart and knew that other lives would be worse off if this virus attacked their system. These were all high-risk people who were getting vaccinated. She entered the medical field (over 30 years ago) to help make a difference in peoples lives. Today she certainly did.