The Way to be Happy

A few years ago, a six-year-old boy from Oregon suffered burns over 85% of his body. His condition was so severe that several doctors gave up and one hospital would not admit him because they thought he would die anyway.

His life was saved, however, by eight courageous and committed people -- his parents, three nurses and three doctors. The nurses emerged as the true heroines in this real-life drama. After other nurses had quit, these women took eight-hour shifts with the boy, seeing him through skin grafts, operations, crucial periods in which death almost gained victory, and dull, dragging days of rehabilitation. The boy grew to dislike them, as he innocently thought they caused his intense pain.

His room was like a dungeon. It measured 12 feet by 12 feet. The door was tightly shut, shades were drawn, heat blazed from a gooseneck lamp shining as a substitute for blankets. The humidity was so high the walls dripped with moisture, and dank air smelled of burned flesh and chlorine-soaked dressings.

The nurses stayed with him, dressed in caps, gowns, masks and gloves as if they were assisting an operation. Within an hour they would be soaked with perspiration. For 14 desperately long months these dedicated three gave their all to the ailing boy. Then, one day, he finally climbed from his bed and walked.

It was a great day! The nurses were rewarded for their tireless effort. The lives of all three were so deepened and their sense of satisfaction so great after fighting off the temptation to quit for 14 months, that each said they'd put forth the effort again.

What caused them to feel so satisfied with their work? One might say it was because they found a way to truly serve someone in need. And in so doing, they accomplished something significant. Like American educator Booker T. Washington said, "Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others."

Someone observed, "It's easy to make a's a lot tougher to make a difference." But it's the way to be happy.

From Steve Goodier's TOUCHING MOMENTS

Thanks to Life Support System Publishing, Inc.

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