Florence Nightingale was a dedicated nurse and pioneer of her profession who lived in the 19th century. During the Crimean War, she tended to wounded soldiers and was dubbed “The Lady with the Lamp” because she often worked until late at night. She helped to establish a nursing school in London, now part of King’s College, and the annual International Nurses’ Day is celebrated around the world on her birthday, the 12th of May.
Florence was so dedicated to nursing that she never married for fear it would interfere with her work. When a nurse develops romantic feelings for his or her patient, it is often referred to as “the Florence Nightingale effect”, which is strange because she never fell in love with one of her patients; but some nurses do, as this story demonstrates…
It was a day like any other when Krista, a nurse in America, met Mason. He had undergone surgery and she was his recovery nurse. When he opened his eyes he saw a beautiful young woman and the first words that came out of his mouth were: “You’re beautiful”. The next thing he said was: “Are you single?” Krista told him that he was on drugs and still under the influence of the anaesthesia. She may have been right, but Mason’s interest certainly didn’t wane after that remark. As he left the hospital that day, he promised Krista that he would ask her out. She didn’t think he was being serious, but something deep inside her longed for his return.
Two weeks later, Mason came back to the hospital where Krista worked and left his number with one of her colleagues, insisting that she pass it on to Krista. Like Florence Nightingale, Krista was aware that starting a relationship would have implications for her nursing career but she knew she had to give it a chance. Her heart was pounding all the way to the restaurant where she went to meet Mason. They talked all night and found that they had so much in common. Several months passed and Mason thought about asking Krista to marry him. He wanted to propose in a special way so he talked to some other nurses at the hospital and they helped him arrange things…
Krista turned up for work that day and when she opened the recovery room door she found red rose petals on the floor. Mason was lying on a hospital bed, dressed like a patient; he had even had an IV put in! He got out of bed, got on one knee and asked her to marry him. She couldn’t believe what was happening. A dozen questions rushed into her head: Is he really the man for me? What will the others say? What about my career? But she only answered the one question that mattered most. She said yes to Mason and ten weeks later they were married.
And so the love story that began in same-day surgery had a happy ending. I wonder what The Lady with the Lamp would think about it. Would she have said yes to Mason? Perhaps not. After all, Florence Nightingale was married to her job.