[Posted by Sylvia Broome, member of the Church on the Street community and director of women’s and human trafficking ministries]
My daughter had surgery in May. I was impressed by the gentle and reassuring attention from the nurses, the thorough conversation with the doctor prior to the surgery, and the visit from the anesthesiologist who carefully took her history.
After the surgery, she had multiple doses of pain medicine, cold compresses on her eyes for comfort, and frequent changes of bandages. The doctor stopped in to check on her. She stayed for several hours in recovery since she was so groggy from the anesthesia. When she was ready to go home, she was gently helped into the car by the nurse. The care she received was like a five star spa.
Jerry, a homeless member of our community, also had surgery in May. Jerry’s surgery was on both eyelids. He was not told prior to the surgery that he would need someone to help him with a ride after the surgery. Because of this, he had not made arrangements to get back to the facility where he was staying.
After the surgery was over he called me and said “I can’t see.” I drove to the hospital to pick him up and found him sitting alone on a wall outside of the hospital. He had been released with both eyes swollen shut, groggy and disoriented from the anesthesia. He could barely walk and needed two people to help him get into the car.
How different it is to have surgery when you are poor, homeless and uninsured.
Allison is a member of our community that recently moved to Maryland. She sent this letter to update us on her life. Since she addressed it to the whole community I am sharing it here so that all can celebrate with her.
Dear Pastor Andy and everyone at Church on the Street,
It has been quite a few months since I graduated and moved to Maryland but I haven’t forgotten you all! I miss being able to stop by and see friends, listen to stories, and have some of Harry’s great cooking. I hope that things are going well!
I really like my job here at NASA. I’m working on a high altitude balloon mission that will carry an infrared telescope up to the top of the atmosphere. The telescope will look at galaxies in the infrared (basically how much heat they’re giving off.) It’s hard to do infrared astronomy from the ground because Earth’s atmosphere traps heat so there’s a lot of heat “noise” in the data. My job is to design and analyze the structure that the telescope will sit on. It’s fun, but a lot of work. I’m learning so many new things!
I am settling in to living in Maryland. I got a cat. He’s cute – his name is Ticky. (Like a clock.) I found a nice church to go to, though they aren’t heavily involved in homeless ministry which I am sad about. I want to do something like Church on the Street was but I haven’t found anything close by. All of it involves metro-ing into DC which can take an hour just to travel. 😦 I am sure if I keep my eyes open, though, something will turn up that is closer to where I live. I hope so!
Anyway, I know Harry always needs more cooking supplies and there’s always pants and socks needed, so I’m including a check to help out a little. I’m so glad Church on the Street exists and that I found it while in Atlanta. Let me know what’s new! Say hi to everyone for me!
We miss you too Allison.