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A Piece of My Mind
April 13, 2011

The Walk

JAMA. 2011;305(14):1393. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.368

“Matthew, I’m going to take your temperature now. Matthew, I’m going to listen to your breathing.” Whenever they touch him, they talk to him first, calling him by name. I am moved by their respect, though the whole point of today is that he cannot hear them. I don't notice if there is a time when they stop doing this.

The transplant nurse, Lindsay, gives us ceramic hearts. She takes matching hearts and efficiently—reverently—ties them around Matthew's wrist. He will wear them into the surgery; then, if we do not reclaim them, into his grave.

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