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Angels Among Us: Making Scary Amazing

Sept. 2 was was an extraordinary day. I started a Saturday morning hike with my bestie Tracey on the Los Liones trail in the Pacific Palisades. As we started to climb a group of hikers were coming down the narrow trail so I moved down, off the trail and to the side to allow room for social distancing. Unfortunately, when I hopped back up on the trail to resume my hike my hat was blocking a huge, thick tree branch that I slammed against my head. It punctured my forehead and left me dazed and injured enough to require first aid --- despite the excruciating pain and blood -- this is where it starts to get amazing. my friend Tracey - who I’ve often suggested would be an amazing person to be stranded on a desert island with - while I talked to the natives she would make sure we had food and shelter - went in to crisis mode and that’s when I realized how badly I was bleeding. Then complete strangers jumped in to assist and be -- amazing. As Tracey used my sweatshirt to stop the blood, and someone called 911, Tracey ran back to the bottom of the trail to call my husband, a beautiful nurse named Selena, who works at a step-down unit at USC - in case anyone knows her - stayed by my side applying pressure to my injury. She never left my side the entire time. When I realized how much I was bleeding I panicked and another nurse -- Aurora --listened to my heart rate and sat in the dirt with me and someone named Holly just talked to me -and a very funny man who I couldn’t see told jokes including letting me know how lucky it was that I wasn’t dead! Then there were the amazing firemen who hiked up the trail to help bring me down - Josh and someone by the last name of Corranza and someone who grew up in the Valley, and when I got out of the ambulance there was Tracey -- amazing, smiling, calm, telling me I could check ambulance ride off of my bucket list! And Pam, Jennifer, Girprit and the wonderful ER staff at Providence/St. Johns’ and Dr.Sayah - a plastic surgeon with an incredible personal story and - I say with pride - a Bruin through and through - undergrad and med school - who stitched up the scary and deep gash on my forehead with 3 layers of stitches - and while I look like the bride of Frankenstein right now I have faith that he is my best chance at dodging the potential for a scar - and my husband - who spent the entire day holding my hand, my foot or any available body part while I whined and squealed in pain and then gently helped me get the gross stuff out of hair without wetting the scar when we got home - and even got me In ‘N Out. So why extraordinary? Cause the world and people and the ugly rhetoric and politics has me living experiencing a real existential crisis. But today - the amazing people - the kindness, humanity and loveliness shown by complete strangers and the love of my bestie Tracey and the gentle care of my husband was the medicine I needed to be reminded that the world and humans can be wonderful. So today was extraordinary and amazing and when I see my scar - I’m going to try to remember good people instead of being bummed out (ok maybe both if it doesn’t heal pretty). And please, if anyone knows any of the people I mentioned or if by chance you were in the trail today - 1. We need to cut that branch - apparently I’m not the first person to land in the St. John’s ER: 2. I want to personally thank Selena and Aurora and Holly #loslioneshikingtrail #lafd #stjohnshealthcenter Tracey Kaplan Daniel #paintedwords #debkazdeaneart #amazing

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