Today is a really big day for us.
A few weeks back, the Hospital foundation contacted me to ask our permission to share our story as part of the 2015 fundraising campaign with fundraising specifically targeted for the emergency services. Of course we said yes.
The reason they contacted us was the head of the foundation asked the ER staff if there was any family that stood out to them from 2014 that they would like to see represent them. You all know that we made somewhat of an impact, or rather, Shawn did, on September 19th but here’s what you didn’t know and what I didn’t know the extent of.
This past Christmas Shawn and I made up some gifts. One for the staff on the fifth floor Cardiac ICU and one for the ER staff.
The ER staff kept my card. Here is what I wrote:
On Sept. 19th my husband Shawn was admitted to room 15 with chest pains. He was only 39 years old. That afternoon his heart stopped and at least a dozen people gave us a miracle.You did not know that the man you were saving was mere weeks away from turning 40. You did not know me as I cried in the corner. You did not know our five amazing children. You only knew that Shawn’s heart had stopped and he had to be saved. You saved him. It is because of people like you that our family – our whole family, is having Christmas together. And just 6 weeks after that, Shawn and I will celebrate 20 years of marriage. I think of all your faces every day – those I have met since and those I have not – and I thank you for being Angels. I hope that you look up from time to time at the number 15 over that door and remember that there is a family that owes you everything.
With all our gratitude and love,
Nuala Reilly, Shawn Reilly,
Liam, Keisha, Aislinn, Kathryn
and Shawn Michael
We dropped them off, and we left.
When I talked to Christine on the phone that day, she told me that not only has that card been kept, but it has been photocopied and many of the staff have a copy of their own. They keep it pinned up in the staff room as a reminder on hard days why they do this.
I was so touched, I cried.
A couple of weeks ago Shawn and I went back to the hospital to meet up with some of the staff from that day. I already knew most of them, having had the chance to see and talk with them, thank and hug them, over the course of our weeks as hospital regulars, but for Shawn, this was a first. It was a very emotional reunion.
This morning is the official launch of the new campaign and Shawn and I and our three youngest are going to the hospital to be a part of it and to speak and tell our story. Our story that, thanks to these amazing people, still continues.
If you’re reading this and you’re a donating type of person, or if you aren’t, but you think maybe this year you might be, I urge you to check our the foundation.
Or check out your local hospital foundation. Give to those who give so much to us.
And hug the ones you love. Tell them, out loud, that you love them.