News, Insights & Observations From The Doctors At Internal Medicine Of Ventura
It was a bright Sunday late afternoon in our beach town and we were driving home. My husband glimpsed a man down on the ground as we were passing the intersection. We pulled up to find Jack on his side lying on the sidewalk, his bike leaning against a pole and he was non-responsive. I dropped to my knee to Jack’s side to find one bystander calling 911.
I asked a nearby man to help me roll him to his back so I could start CPR. With CPR, his facial color turned from a blue-tinge to pink. And we continued this way, with intermittent pauses checking for a pulse, until emergency crews arrived. Throughout I was singing “Staying Alive” in my mind to both help me stay on pace and as a mantra to the man whose chest I was using my body weight to pump.
He required further and extensive resuscitation at the scene but Jack left the sidewalk in the ambulance with a pulse and he was breathing. In the time of his resuscitation, his wife arrived. It was before her husband was loaded in the ambulance that she asked to say ‘thank you’ to the doctor who attended to her husband on the side of the road. Meeting Diane, I hugged her, told her my name and offered her to call me with any questions that might come up.
When I called the ER to check on Jack’s safe arrival, the ER doctor told me Diane had shared the story and that “Dr. Jennings just happened to be driving by.” His wife called me several days later to share her gratitude for the action of a stranger. She told me about the loveliness that is her husband. We talked about purpose. We agreed that when we live with purpose —especially around doing for others—our own life has a deeper meaning.
While I do not know how Jack’s story will unfold from here, his wife and I made a plan to get together when he wakes up. I am absolutely clear that life is better when we care for one another. When we move from bystander to participant toward another person’s well being, we create the beginning of a larger ripple of goodness. All of us have a power to affect change—bringing a deeper compassion and a broader connection to one another.
It is in that vein, as we open the doors of Internal Medicine of Ventura that we join you as members of our shared community starting a ripple. Meeting Jack just before opening our business to patients was this reminder: We each have a purpose and that life is both more meaningful and abundant when we do what we can to care thoughtfully for one another.
To your health!