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She offered her hand to me and I placed mine in hers. Gripping it tight, she told me she was ready. Life had given her a bad turn but she was ready to lose her limb. She knew that the surgeons were fighting to salvage what they could but deep down she knew her limb had to go. She felt bad for making the doctors and nurses work so hard. She then thanked me for coming to see her everyday and then she smiled, whispering secretively to me how grateful she was - as her illness had brought out another side of her child she had never thought to see. “As a mother, I can say to you doctor, I can live my life now with no regrets.” Looking earnestly into my eyes, she said, “I know you feel bad for me, but please don’t.”

I have always been awed by the privilege afforded to me through my profession; that we are often the witnesses to the most vulnerable moments of a person’s life. But I have to add to that another privilege. We get to see the human spirit at its best, we get to be inspired and humbled by our patients who are resilient in the face of loss and still take the time to be grateful. So that we too can be grateful for what we still have and what we will surely lose eventually.