There are some stories that motivate us and then there are some that shape us, this was one such story for me. I have a habit of reading news and articles daily at times it gets consuming, but this is the price one must pay to keep up with the world around. During one such evening, I came across a story of a lady and her family that changed my outlook towards life forever.
To give the gift of life at a time of loss
When you help yourself, you feel joyful but when you help someone else you feel ecstatic. There is something sacred about helping, especially to a stranger. no matter how small or big it is, it leaves you with a sense of serenity, and dignifies your presence in the world.
We all have thought of giving a helping hand to others, but have you ever thought to give the gift of life at a time of loss? It is relatively easy to extend your help and gratitude when you are in a good place but when the tables turn and life becomes a little spiteful towards you, at such a junction we usually close ourselves from the world and at times hurt is reciprocated. Even though I believe all humans are cut from the same cloth our resistance varies from heart to heart.
This is the story of one such heart that crossed all borders and till date echoes around the walls of Marquette general hospital of California, USA.
Sanaz Nezami a 27-year-old young girl from Iran, moved to the States after getting married to a guy from Turkey. She was a joyous, cheerful lady and was really good with languages and translation. At times cooked food for old people and voiced her voice for “violence against women” but the irony of her life was too extreme as she herself died of the same cause she protested throughout her life. It was on a cold December night in 2013 that she was brought to the hospital with multiple brain injuries and was rushed to the ICU. The hospital staff knew she didn't have much time, but to top it all the staff had no idea who she was as she carried no identification card, and her brain was so swollen after her beating from her husband that she couldn’t perform any function. The only person, her husband who could have given something was taken in for questioning.
To save time the medical team decided to look over the internet from Facebook to LinkedIn and finally found her resume and discovered that she loved learning languages and voiced her voice for violence against women. They finally got in touch with her family who were sitting half way across the world in Iran. The worst fate that a parent can share is to not be with their child at this hour of need.
Moved by the incident the medical team knew that her family won’t be able to make it on time as there is no U.S embassy in Iran. The news broke to her father who has never worked since. All her family wanted was to say the last goodbye to their daughter and I guess every parent deserves that chance. Shattered by their dejected faces, the medical team at the Marquette hospital for the first time arranged a video call so that even though they could not be there physically at least they could support her virtually. They kept the laptop right next to her bed along with staff from the hospital who would sit next to her and perform little gestures as instructed by her family like, kiss her forehead, and stroke her hair.
As the process to turn off the ventilator that supported Sanaz’s body drew near, the nurse supervisor mentioned the idea of organ donation to her father.
Even though he knew nothing about that hospital had never met these people, even though they belonged to a different background and culture, yet her father bestowed his faith in them and all he asked in return was that they allow in him to read his prayer before the organ recovery began, ‘God, I give you my child, so that she may save many great lives, for we are all your children’.
“And for a father, that just really gives you a sense of his character,” outlined one of the Nurse Supervisor. That day they saved seven lives in the hospital and many more by donating her blood.
But the story doesn’t end yet, on the December 18 she was buried in Marquette’s Park Cemetery and the priest got a Quran so as to perform all the rituals of her religion while twenty hospital staff attended her funeral and at the end the priest walked up to her father who watched everything from the laptop , and said “your daughter will never be alone till I walk the roads of this city.”
The last message of Sanaz on her Facebook page was — the real question is not whether life exists after death. The real question is whether you are alive before death,” — Sanaz
In the end no one really knows the true meaning of life but to be there for someone at the hour of need really adds value to your life, and makes living worthwhile.