Triggering content: mental health, trauma, hospitals
When I was first hospitalized for sepsis last year, I met someone from Ukraine who saved my life. My heart was filled with grief as I lay in that hospital bed, dying, facing everything alone. My nurse was Ukrainian. She was the only person that hugged me that year. She was the only one to see through my wall of strength and stoicism. She hugged me and held me in her arms as I broke down and sobbed. She comforted me like a friend. She told me it was okay to be scared. She told me I was strong but didn't have to be because she would care for me. Once I was able to speak more after days of IV antibiotics, she spoke Russian and Ukrainian with me. I felt safe with her. I rarely feel safe with anyone. Before the hug she gave me, I hadn't been touched in over a year. I was breaking down both physically and mentally. Her simple act of kindness saved my life. I was on the verge of suicide before I went to the hospital. Sepsis is excruciatingly painful. I was so lonely in that agony. The Ukrainian people and the Russian people are some of the most amazing people I've ever met. I am of Ukrainian and Russian descent. If it weren't for the incredible strength of my ancestors, I wouldn't be here. My heart breaks that they are fighting now - my brothers, sisters, and family. To all those suffering, I wish I could give you a hug and keep you safe.