Below is an excerpt from the Healing Hands portrait series on hospital employees. Look for more in future issues.
On race day, Madi stood alone in Snow Canyon, waiting for the 2014 marathon to begin. True to its name, the canyon was freezing cold that day and she wondered, for a moment, why she was putting herself through this. As the gun went off, she started her playlist and found a rhythm. One footstep at a time she focused on getting to mile 21, where her family would be waiting to cheer her on.
Disappointment landed heavy when she got to the 21 mile goal and her family was not at the marker. “They left me!” she moaned as her aching muscles protested along with her voice.
Finding her solitary will, Madi pressed on and crossed the finish line to the cheers of her family who had gathered there. Nowadays Madi has another GOAL: guidance, opportunity, acceptance and love. When she’s not taking care of patients at St. Mark’s, she’s working with her mother at the Goal Home, loving on folks who are disabled.
Small things feel like large victories to Madi, like the day a resident who is non-verbal and reserved hugged her and flashed a smile. Madi’s satisfaction comes from making a difference in someone’s life.
Just like finishing the marathon, Madi declares, “It’s so worth it!”
Madi Baumann is a nurse on 5West at St. Mark’s Hospital.