Under Wraps


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My first job after college was at a hospital. My best friend also worked there, but on a different unit. One day they called me from her unit to assess a burn victim that had been transferred from another hospital. Upon entering the patient's room, I noticed a patient wrapped up with gauze over his head and one arm.

He was laying on his stomach with a hospital gown on. The board above his bed stated the patient's name, “Frank Edwards" and stated “patient can hear but cannot speak" (due to injury sustained from his burns). I carried out my duties as I typically would. After some difficulty removing the wrap from around his hand, I asked him to open his fisted hand so that I could take a look at the scarring and assess the need for a splint.

After a little hesitation on his part, his hand opened and he held a beautiful ring. Still set on finding his “burns", I had not caught on. I thought that perhaps due to the tragedy of the injury, his wife had given him her ring to hold for comfort, or something of that nature. I had seen similar things done with necklaces in the past.

However, after I noticed his shoulders going up and down a bit (he was laughing at my reaction, or lack of), he sat up and unwrapped his head. It was only then, that I realized it was Matt Yoder, not Frank Edwards. With tears in his eyes, he proposed sitting on the hospital bed, with a large group of people listening and anxiously awaiting outside of the room. And yes, it was a private room! I was glad that it wasn't videotaped, because I couldn't believe how naive I was and that I had been tricked!

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