Providence Surgery Team #613 - The Four Marias

Posted on: 03/20/2019

Author: Terri Fisher

~~Let's talk about our part
My heart touches your heart
Let's talk about, let's talk about living
Had enough of dying, not what we're all about
Let's do more giving
Do more forgiving
Our souls were brought together so that we could love each other
We are here
We are here for all of us
We are here for all of us
That's why we are here, why we are here
We are here

~Alicia Keys


When the surgery schedule was posted, all four surgeons had patients who had a first name of Maria for their second case of the day.  All of them were brought to pre-op at the same time, and after a safety pause to confirm indentities, met with the physicians and began prep with the nurses.  Post-op nurse Cate, and the other nurses lightened the mood by chatting and visiting with the patients saying "I'm looking for Maria.  Do we have a Maria here?"  They would giggle when all four Marias raised their hands.  While waiting, the women began visiting and sharing their stories - about their families, where they were from, how far they had traveled, their hopes for the future.  One by one, they were taken into the OR.. 

After the women were in post-op and moved to the ward, each of them wanted to know the outcome of the others.  Maria #3 was in some pain upon waking in the ward.  Before anything though, she looked around to make sure her new friends were all there.  When she didn't see Maria #4, she vocalized her concern to the nurses.  Shortly afterward, Maria #4 was wheeled in and the group sighed in relief.  Over the next several recovery days, the Marias continued to visit and learn from each other.  They braided each other's hair. This extraordinary group of women demonstrated what it means to look after our neighbors, to really see each other, and offer comfort to each other during challenging times.  They established a strong bond and lifted each other up in healing prayers.  Nurse Cate gave each of them a rosary, and kept one herself to remember the experience.  She commented that many times at home she has patients requesting private rooms, but that maybe if we adopted this same sense of community and togetherness, we might be in better spirits and heal faster.  It seems we can all learn a lot from the Four Marias.