Who is Your Superhero – Jess Byron

Jess in the sun.  Image: Jessamyn

Jess in the sun. Image: Jessamyn

I don’t have a favorite superhero of the cape and tights variety, but two experiences 19 years apart have convinced me that more than a few superheroes wear white coats and scrubs. I’m talking, of course, about doctors and nurses who, on two occasions, have given me one of the most precious gifts I could ever ask for: more time with someone I love.

When I was seven my grandfather had a heart attack that destroyed 90% of his heart — that he survived was surprising. His doctors and nurses at two different hospitals worked tirelessly to make sure he’d be around to see his grandchildren grow. They gave us the gift of five additional years to get to know our funny, smart grandfather. Those years are a gift that no one will ever be able to take from me and from which I have fond memories.

Over the summer my uncle was admitted to the hospital for meningitis, and spent nearly a week in a coma in the ICU. His doctors and nurses amazed me, especially once I found out that most who had what he did don’t survive and those who do don’t recover. My uncle and my family were lucky, we got the gift of more time together; he’s fully recovered thanks in large part to the efforts of the doctors and nurses who worked tirelessly with him.

When I think superheroes, what I think of is people who do extraordinary things on a regular basis, whether through the use of technology or abilities. While as far as I know my superheroes can’t fly or see through walls, I’d say they qualify.

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