A Real Life Guardian Angel  

Her name was Ella.  She was a big woman with a laugh to match.  More than anyone else, she made Marge feel welcome in her new job.  As time went by she and Marge shared many conversations.  Even though she worked in a different department, Ella would drop by regularly and brighten Marge’s day.

A year or so after starting in the new job, Marge heard that Ella had to leave for health reasons.  The word was that Ella had an enlarged heart.  Some time later Ella came back to visit with old friends and Marge noticed that she was wearing a special pager.  It turned out that the pager was to notify Ella if and when a suitable donor heart became available.  For Ella was on the list for a heart transplant.

Candidate hearts for Ella became available only rarely, due to her African heritage.  But eventually her name reached the top of the list and then, one fateful day, the call came.  But it turned out that there was a problem.  The heart was from an infant, and the doctors told Ella that it was questionable whether the tiny heart would be able to keep her alive.  On the other hand, the drugs that kept her enlarged heart pumping were gradually destroying it.  If she didn’t take this heart, then It was a long shot whether she would survive until another suitable heart came along.  The choice was hers to make.

“Who’s next on the list?” she asked.  The doctors informed her that it was a fourteen-year-old youth.

“Would the heart work for him?” she wanted to know.  The answer was that there was an excellent chance it would.

“Give it to him,” she said.  And that was that.

Ella bought a plane ticket to return to the East where her aged mother lived.  She would finish her life out there.  A last night out with some friends was planned ... dinner and a movie.  Sometime during the show Ella slipped into unconsciousness.  She never came out of it.  She passed away quietly in the hospital.

Somewhere a young man has a new lease on life.  As Mr. Spock of Star Trek would say, may he live long and prosper.  He might never know how a real-life guardian angel placed herself between him and harm’s way, and that is probably okay.  We can only hope that this young man leads a full and productive life and that the world is a better place for his being here.  That is, after all, not too much to ask ... Ella is watching.