Putting the Patient First - Vincent's Story
This is the story of how one person can make a difference. It begins in the California Redwoods, 1600 miles from Omaha. It's about a new friendship between the Anderson family of California and Bashir Vincent Loding, a hospital housekeeper originally from The Sudan.
The Anderson family of northern California had no plans of spending the holidays in Omaha. Twenty-four year old Aislinn came to Broken Bow, Nebraska to spend Thanksgiving with some co-workers. What was expected to be a short relaxing trip turned into the longest and most stressful event of her life.
"The phone rang and I could see it was her," remembered Aislinn's mother, Janet Anderson. "But it was her friend. She said, 'Mrs. Anderson, Aislinn's been in a little accident, but she's going to be OK.'"
The accident turned out to be quite serious. Aislinn was riding all terrain vehicles with her friends. Medics flew her from Broken Bow to The Nebraska Medical Center emergency department. Her parents worked frantically to get to Omaha.
They spent days at her bedside in the ICU. Aislinn had several surgeries to repair damage to her liver and kidneys. On a particularly difficult day, Mrs. Anderson was overcome with emotion while reading emails from friends on her laptop computer in the ICU waiting room.
"As I'm sobbing, I see this man, the man who comes by every day to clean Aislinn's room," Anderson recalled. "He had this beautiful smile. And he said to me, 'You must have courage... courage and hope. I have seen your daughter; I think she is going to be OK.' I just saw this angel when I saw him."
Her angel was Bashir Vincent Loding, a hospital housekeeper. As they talked more, Anderson learned more about his background.
"He said, 'I am from the Sudan. I am one of the Lost Boys. I lost my mother and father there in a fire. I have made it here, and my life is good. Have courage. Have hope.' His words just lifted me up from where I was to where I needed to be. It gave me such strength." Choking back a tear, Anderson summed it up: "Vincent is a really cool guy."
As Aislinn's condition improved, she was well enough to leave the hospital and join her family staying at the Potter House. They all stayed in touch with Vincent, including an informal get-together on New Year's Eve. The Andersons plan to keep in touch with Vincent, even after their return home to California.
"We were 1600 miles from home," said Anderson. "We knew nobody. We know a lot of people now. All of these people have become family to me now. Everyone, the doctors, nurses, housekeepers; I see so much grace and goodness here. We've had to struggle through this trauma, and if it had to be such a bad thing in our lives, it was under the best circumstances here. That's why she's alive today. Because everyone here saved her life."
The Andersons returned home to California January 5.
For more information about The Nebraska Medical Center, visit http://www.nebraskamed.com.
Music by Kevin MacLeod "Eternal Hope." www.incompetech.com