The Helipad

Jumping on the Helipad

“He told me he had the will to live again”.

That’s what the helipad can do for a patient. That’s what the fresh air and the view can do for a patient. The breathtaking height. The view of the tops of the buildings in Birmingham. The view of Vulcan. The wind. The feeling of being so small in the grand scheme of things. It can do that for you, too.

I’ve only been a nurse for a few months but I’ve been aching to get up there for a while now. My fellow graduates had already posted their experiences from tours of the helipad on Instagram a long time ago (like a month really, but still) and I still hadn’t gotten up there yet.

For an adrenaline junkie like me, just the thought of being up there, of maybe seeing a helicopter land, of seeing the flight team rushing a patient into the ER, was enough to get me excited. I was determined to make my way up there somehow. So the moment during report when I was told that I could take my patient up there was the second best moment of my day. The BEST moment was actually being there.

It was a pretty steady shift, so all I could think about was getting up there. We finally hit a lull in the day when it was possible, and I was jazzed. We all got ready, grabbed any necessary equipment, got onto the elevator and I pressed 12. We were headed up. His second visit. My first.

You know that overwhelming moment of excitement you had as a kid when your parents took you to Disneyland and you just could not get there fast enough? Ya’ll, the wait of riding past 3 floors was excruciating.

The moment those doors opened and we walked out onto the platform was the most exhilarating for me. I swear I could feel my blood bubbling like I was a freshly popped can of Coke. #AllTheTingles. At that moment, though, it struck me; such a strange juxtaposition of experiences…

At that moment I felt acutely alive. But he just wanted to live.

We stayed up there for a while. I took in the sights, spinning around in slow 180’s pointing out different Birmingham monuments while he just looked at the view. I found the City Federal Building. Vulcan, of course. The Regions building. The WBRC satellite. It was pretty quiet except for the sound of the wind blowing in my ears. Then…

“This is what I miss most about being at home, the fresh air”.

Our patients go through extremely difficult circumstances. They fight against impossible odds and endure what can be described as the worst. And as a nurse it is too easy to forget that we see trauma every day, but our patients are living it. And sometimes for them the simplest things are the things that make life worth living.

Isn’t it absolutely amazing what differences our experiences make in how we view things…?

I love it up there. I fall in love with the Magic City every time I get to ride up to the 12th floor. You get to see the “magic” up there. You get a glimpse of life up there. You get a glimpse of God up there. When I’m up there, so much is clear.

For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world…”Romans 1:19-20

It’s a pretty cool thing.

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