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Life Imitates Life

January 10, 2010


Six years later, Alina was one of the many NICU nurses who helped save Josh's life.

“I need oxygen – quick!”  I froze.  My heart raced.  I’d heard someone yelling these exact words before while trying to remain calm and I panicked this time just the same.  “Mommy.  Mommy!  Maaameee!”  Josh was tugging at my sweater.  As my eyes were darting around I caught a glimpse of his sweet, innocent face.  My precious son was completely oblivious to what was going on.  All he wanted was to show me the picture he just drew.  It was beautiful!  An airplane flying in the sky.  Just like we were doing.  We were en route to Houston to meet the new CEO of Continental Airlines and to thank him for being the official sponsor of the National Ambassador Program.  This was our first trip as the 2010 National Ambassador Family and on our flight there was a 65-year-old man in seat 8A who needed oxygen.  He was passed out cold.  The flight attendant asked if there were any doctors over the P.A.  I heard some call buttons ring.  The ringing of the bells, the frantic call for oxygen – sounds of the NICU – it hit me quickly that I was re-living a scenario that happened almost seven years ago when Josh was days old in the NICU and he needed oxygen to resuscitate him his lungs were so premature and weak.  Now my Josh was drawing awesome pictures and drinking his apple juice while someone else needed the oxygen to survive.  It’s so amazing to me how life often imitates life!  When we touched down in Houston, the man was escorted off the plane with his wife, and medical assistance was waiting at the gate.  He looked okay.  I squeezed Josh’s hand and gave him a kiss on his soft cheek.  “You ready to meet Mr. Smisek, CEO of this airplane with the flight attendant who saved that man?”  “Yes!” Josh said with a huge smile.  “And I can’t wait to show him my picture!”

– Melanie

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