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Thursday, March 18, 2010


I'm sitting in the Columbia, SC Metro Airport (which, up until a month ago, I didn't even know existed). Just wrapped up this year's South Carolina Symposium on Quality Care. Now I've got two hours to kill in a very nice but very dead airport. I'll probably make my way over to the restaurant for a sandwich and some March madness in just a bit.

Right now, I had to sit and decompress. I think, after five years of making these trips and giving these talks, I've realized how tiring they are and how lonely they make me. Don't get me wrong, it's not because I don't have amazing family and friends. It's just that, when you're sitting all alone in a strange airport, they are so far away and you appreciate them so much. Giving this talk is kind of like ripping old scabs off. It hurts but it gives me great healing as well. I get strength from knowing that Josh's story is touching somebody and bringing some positive change.

I'm still tired though--mentally, not physically--from thinking these thoughts, feeling these emotions and telling this story. Can't wait to get back home to my kids and snuggle next to Lisa on the couch. It's God's way of reminding me how completely He heals...and how good He is at it.

That sandwich is calling my name now. Better get a little food before the mad rush at the gate (that's a joke). Probably another 20 seater airplane. At least I know it's taking me home.


Kristy said...

Oh yes, been in and out of that airport 100 times this past semester. I didn't think I would ever find an airport so empty!

Brad said...

You had a profound impact today. I can't imagine what it takes to bear that burden. Know that you have encouraged a number of people to pursue excellence in the face of many barriers. I would have spoken with you more this afternoon, but had a huge knot in my throat.

Your strength is a testimony to God's grace and power.

JVicktwin said...

Ridley, thank you so much for taking the time and energy to share Josh's story, at the 3rd Annual Patient Safety Symposium, in Columbia, SC. I know how you feel about the lonliness you feel and the pain, each time you share your story. My twin sister Ann S. Perdue, died also in March 2004, because of a medical error and failure to rescue. Even though, I was so honored to receive The Lewis Blackman Patient Safety Champion Award, still is so hard to keep reliving the past...and the pain. But, one thing we know...God has a Plan. I just Praise His Name, for all the accomplishments that are being made, to make other patients safer. You shared your scripture today. My guiding principle has been Prov. 3: 5,6. Just trust God and He Shall continue to direct OUR paths! God bless you and your family. I was blessed by meeting you this week. Jan S. Vick Exec. Director SC Voices for Patient Safety

Beverly Nichols said...

Ridley, Thank you so much for "pulling off old scabs" to make others aware of the medical errors that often are not addressed because of fear and sometimes 'well, mistakes happen". You touched many hearts with your presentation in Columbia and I know mine will be forever changed. Thanks again.
Beverly, Greenwood SC

Traci Jenkins said...

thank you for simply still being transparent after 5 years. thanks for also putting in that comment..."it's God way of reminding me how completely He heals" that was encouraging and made me be able to wipe away the tear from my cheek. you are a constant reminder to me that God is so faithful even when things don't make sense. you are still my favorite and only youth pastor :)you, lisa, and the kids are on the fridge and are prayed for often!!