I was almost immune to the much used phrase 'be kind' but when it was shown to me in spades I realised its true meaning / Sue Plunkett column
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But when someone shows you true kindness... ah, then you realise the gravitas of this phrase. Well kindness was shown to me last week and it was so very humbling.
I had to attend the urgent care centre at Burnley General Hospital with a family member who was quite poorly, and the kindness and compassion we were shown was so very much appreciated.
Yes, we had to wait for a number of hours while various tests and scans were carried out, but the care, courtesy and professionalism shown to us by all the medical staff could not have been better if we had been staying in five star hotel, I kid you not.
Many of them were very young and just starting out on their careers but each one had compassion in spades.
We were required to attend the X ray department for a CT scan and while I began to figure out which floor it was on and the best route to take the attending doctor said a porter would walk us there, something we were extremely grateful for.
After a 10 minute wait the CT scan was completed and a second porter was despatched to take us safely back to urgent care. But you haven't heard the best bit yet.
As it had been several hours since I had eaten or had a drink I inquired if there was a vending machine handy. The porter said 'yes, of course' and took us to the hospital restaurant and said he would wait while I grabbed a snack.
Sitting in the pristine waiting area for a few hours gave me time to reflect on another kind act shown to me in that same hospital 27 years ago when my mum was admitted with acute leukaemia.
She was very poorly, dying in fact, but the consultant in charge of her care, a Mr Kendra, was one of the most compassionate men I have ever met. He started a treatment plan and talked me through what would happen as they began chemotherapy.
My mum was transferred to a high dependency ward and I have a vivid memory of being sat by her bedside at around 10pm one evening and in walked Mr Kendra.
Although he was not officially working he had come to see how she was doing. I could have cried when I saw him and when he told me that he was due to go on holiday the week after but he would cancel his plans if necessary I actually did cry, I was so touched his kindness and compassion.
At a time when I felt completely and utterly lost his kindness lifted my spirits, it still makes me emotional to this day thinking about it. It has always stayed with me and I feel regret that I never got the chance to thank him properly.
And it goes to show how a small act of kindness can make such a huge difference.