A nurse friend from the Cleveland Clinic sent me this article: One Heart Surgeon’s Story of Helping a Drug Addict Find Hope in which Gösta Pettersson, MD, PhD, wrote about his 27-year-old, heroin-addicted patient. Everyone was convinced she would die. So often we meet patients like this and are perhaps tempted to dismiss them because of an apparent personal failure like drug abuse. We don’t really understand what they’re going through. We see their physical suffering, but it’s actually only a small fraction of what they endure. He operated on this young girl’s heart and she is, today, six months sober. He ends by saying, My patient’s drug addiction will be a lifelong battle – but ‘so worth living to fight it,’ she tells me. She knows now that because her life was worth saving, it is also worth living.
Today’s Promise to consider: Lives are worth saving – all lives, even drug-addicted lives. This cardiovascular surgeon saved a young, heroin addict’s life through both medical and emotional care. Addiction wants to suffocate and end lives – and not all lives can be saved – but where there is life there is hope.