A Comforting Soul
IT SEEMS IMPOSSIBLE to me to put into words just how special St. Jude Children's Research Hospital nurse practitioner Martha May is to my family.
BY Shelby Sonora
PUBLISHED June 16, 2015
IT SEEMS IMPOSSIBLE to me to put into words just how special St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital nurse practitioner Martha May is to my family. At a time when our world was completely turned upside down and became chaotic, she brought a genuine love and caring to that world.
I WILL NEVER FORGET my little girl, Yesenia, being in isolation for months, and the whole world of leukemia was completely foreign to us. We had so many questions. But something as simple as the sound of shoes clinking on the floors of the hallways of St. Jude became one of the most comforting sounds to me and my daughter.
Yesenia’s treatment for her leukemia involved several types of procedures. These appointments always scared me and made me feel very nervous. Miss Martha, our special nurse, did everything she could to ease my worries by performing these procedures herself. Martha wore these little shoes that would “clink” as she walked down the hall. Hearing that clink would bring me peace and calmness because I knew that she was coming to talk to us and explain just exactly what was going on. She always made us feel comfortable and explained what to expect next.
She would tell me, “I’ll take good care of her. I’ll find y’all at the picture.” I would kiss my little girl on the cheek and walk down the hall to the “Mickey and Minnie” picture and wait. Time almost seemed to stop. I know that these procedures only took a few minutes to complete, but it always felt so much longer. Then I would hear the clink. Oh, that calming clink. I could breathe again. Martha would always turn the corner of the hallway with a big smile on her face, letting us know that everything was OK. Every time we saw her, we knew just how lucky and blessed we were to have her as our nurse and our friend.
Martha always has such a positive attitude. Her smile and bubbly personality are contagious and a joy to be around. She brought warmth and comfort to our world when we needed it the most. She is consistent, kind and full of joy.
She listens to you, even when you are not speaking. Martha was so patient with our endless questions and concerns. She and my daughter had a special relationship that grew and blossomed. Yesenia would go home and practice songs that she wanted to sing for Martha. Martha’s reactions to the songs made Yesenia feel like she was on cloud nine. Our trips to St. Jude felt so familiar, so comfortable, like Yesenia was home.
Miss Martha is our beautiful angel. I can’t tell her enough how much I’m so grateful for her and the work she does. She puts so much effort into her work and it shows. Because of that, my daughter has been given a second chance at life. Martha is obedient to God’s calling, to be His hands and feet. Jesus said in Matthew 25:35-40: “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in. I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’
The founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale, wrote the following, and I feel like it fits appropriately to Miss Martha: “Nursing is an art, and if it is to be made an art, it requires an exclusive devotion, as hard a preparation, as any painter’s or sculptor’s work; for what is the having to do with dead canvas or dead marble, compared with having to do with the living body, the temple of God’s spirit? It is one of the Fine Arts; I had almost said, the finest of Fine Arts.”