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For one man, a nurse's kindness was a beacon of light in a dark and painful time


Time now for "My Unsung Hero," our series from the team at Hidden Brain. "My Unsung Hero" tells the stories of people whose kindness left a lasting impression on someone else. Today's story comes from Roger Lynn.

ROGER LYNN: On February 27, 2010, my wife, Veronica (ph), was in the hospital having been diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer, which had metastasized to her abdomen and her bones. Her room was at the far end of the surgical floor and felt like a dark and forgotten corner. And then our unsung hero stepped in. Her name is Jennifer (ph), and to this day, I wish I had learned her last name. She was one of Veronica's nurses and had quickly become our favorite.

On this particular day she found me and said, a wonderful room with a view has just come open, and I think Veronica would really enjoy it. She led me down the hall and into a room which was filled with light. And from the windows there was a panoramic view of the Puget Sound, Whidbey Island and the Olympic Mountains serving as backdrop for the whole scene. And it transformed the experience of being in that place. I remember sitting there quietly in the evening, with my beautiful wife sleeping on the other side of the room, as I watched the setting sun drop behind the mountains. Unfortunately, a week later my world turned upside down and all the color drained out when Veronica threw a blood clot and very quickly died.

But Jennifer had one more gift of kindness to bestow. The next day, I took a bouquet of flowers to the sixth floor nurses' station to say thank you for all of their support over the past two weeks. It was then that Jennifer found me. She took me by the hand and led me to one of the nurses' conference rooms, where she proceeded to tell me what an honor and privilege it had been to care for Veronica and her family. She had been touched by the experience and was truly saddened by her death. Jennifer didn't have to find me that day when the room with a view became available. She didn't have to pull me into a quiet room to tell me that knowing my wife had made a difference in her life. But she did, and her kindness was a beacon of light in the midst of a dark and painful time.


SHAPIRO: Roger Lynn lives in Boulder, Colo. You can find more stories like this on the "My Unsung Hero" podcast. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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