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Try to be Worthy of Life Holiness


What’s your impression for Nurse Zhou Yu?  Is it “Talking with a loud voice”, “playful”, “optimistic”, or “careless”?

No, none of that would be appropriate to describe Zhou Yu in my eyes. I would say that Zhou Yu is the one who argues with physicians for the benefit of patients, the one who works together with doctors to analyze patient conditions, the one who buys cookies for hungry patients in the early mornings, the one who applies creams for patients to prevent dry skin, and the one who cries when her patients’ conditions deteriorate. She said she loves the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and I’m sure she does. She loves the ICU with her heart and therefore, she is able to experience the joys and sorrows with her whole heart.

There’s something in life that never fades from the memory. Li Yong, is such a name and has been sealed in her mind for three years. Whenever she thinks about the handsome boy with the bright eyes, graceful eyebrows, and sunny smile, her heart hurts and the situation of his last day is deeply sealed in her mind.


The last day she saw Li Yong with a tracheal intubation tube in his mouth and massive vasoactive agents continuously being pumped into his veins. All of these reflected no clue for living. The steady stream of life was beaten by the large amount of drainage from the tubes, which foreshadowed the end of his young life. Although there was only a slight chance for him to live, Zhou Yu never thought that he would leave forever. Ms. Zhou Yu said, “I’ve just help transfer Li Yong to the Operating Room (OR). Why did his heart stop beating? The doctors said they are preparing for open chest surgery. Why didn’t he make it?” Although everyone eventually prepares for the worst outcome, no one thought it would be so soon. It came so silently after his third operation.


When he came back to the ICU, we tried our best to save him. We did everything we could. We didn’t want to give up or stop any treatment. He was only 31. His heart responded with a rate of around 50 beats per minute, and his systolic blood pressure was only 50mmHg. We all knew that the heart failure stopped him from waking up. What was his primary nurse, Zhou Yu, doing at this point? I looked around the ICU and found she was there holding the physician saying, “Can you please think of some way to save him? His father is there outside of the door, waiting for his only relative in the world, his own son, to come home. Could you please help give his father some more time with his son?”


Looking out of the door, we all felt our eyes wet. An old man with a humped back was standing there silently. He had already experienced his wife passing away, then his daughter and now he was about to see his son abandoning him. He didn’t say a word. It was like the other day when we tried our best to save him. We were also silent, busy mixing the meds, hoping he could live longer.


Ms. Zhou Yu helped make Li Yong’s bed and cleaned his face. She prepared a stool at the bedside and walked outside the door to reach his father. She held his hand, walked him to his son and said, “You can stay here and keep company with him. I won’t come to disturb you, but I will be around if you need any help or anything.”


After the trembling father was seated, Zhou Yu washed up quickly and put on her smile. We were so curious about how she recovered from grief so quickly. She said that she had other patients and it was not fair bring her down mood to others. We were surprised at her quick change of the mood, yet we had no idea she always cries when no one’s around.

Li Yong’s heart slowed down, so did the blood pressure. Zhou Yu was there, witnessing him to “go”. She wanted to give his father some comfort. Zhou Yu had comforted the father so many times, in places and at times we didn’t know. She felt God was not so fair with this simple and honest old man. It was too cruel for him to watch all his loved ones leave him. He had married his wife 25 years ago but then she was diagnosed with Marfan’s syndrome. In their 25 years together, the old man watched his wife, his daughter and now his son die. Zhou Yu really worried about this poor man. She had just delivered her own child then, and she said she totally understood the silent pain.

As Zhou Yu’s colleague, I’ve seen her treating patients with all she has. Now, I have my own son and as a parent I worry for him even when he just has a cold. Suddenly, I thought of Li Yong’s father. How can he stand it now?

A long, yet a short life; we are born and we die; it is a common cycle. Life and death are not things we can do. All we can do is to really live our lives, and try to be worthy its holiness. 

Edited by Qu Yuedan 

Reviewed by Si Xiaocai