Yeah, I’m the kind of guy who loves to see big, round numbers. Like on the odometer of a car. I think it’s fun to notice when the mileage rolls around to 100000, or 123456, or 111111, or 020202. I have even been known to pull over to the side of the road to stare at a number for a minute, or to take a picture of it.
So naturally I took notice when I started seeing the patient numbers at the hospital approach 190,000. When we write a discharge summary for a patient who is well enough to go home from the hospital, we note the number so that the hospital record can be found easily later if needed. I started wondering when the numbering system had been adopted. Was it with the first patient who was admitted, or did they start this system at a later time.
I asked around, but no one seemed to know. Then I had an inspiration. I correspond with Hal Frye, who was either the first, or at least one of the very early administrators here. I emailed him and asked about it. He wrote back to say that he believed that the system started from the very beginning. When I saw that the new numbers had gone past 190,000 I got to thinking that it would be fun to take a picture and to tell you all about him or her.
After a few days, I “sprung” (sometimes I spring slowly) into action, and went to the log book and looked up patient number 190000. It was a lady named Elis who had been admitted to the maternity ward several days earlier. I went to the ward in hopes that she was still there, but she had had her baby, and was long gone.
The next morning I was discharging a baby from the pediatric ward, and noticed that his number was only about 190035 (sorry, I didn’t write it down, so I’m not sure). I figured that he was the closest I’d come to documenting the big even number, so I took his picture.
What’s the point? It’s that the hard work, prayers, giving and dedication of Nazarene people everywhere (and a lot of others as well) has resulted in ministry to 190,000 men, women, boys and girls in the wards of Nazarene Hospital. If you think about the families of patients, I’m sure that you could multiply this number by 5 or 6. Then think that we see about 10 outpatients for each inpatient, and the number is into the millions.
Some of those people had minor problems, some had devastating diseases or injuries. Some recovered, some died. Some were Christians, some weren’t. Some heard the gospel and accepted it for their soul’s salvation. Some turned cold hearts away from the message. But every one was touched in some way. Every one was loved. Every one was prayed for. Every one was more than a number.