The Coolest Story You Will Read Today

Written by Paul Strack
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nurses with slushee machine
nurses with slushee machine

How Cool is This?

In spite of the sadness, the isolation and the grief, there are some very touching, heartwarming stories occurring during this pandemic. I had the good fortune to experience one first-hand last week.

At 6:30 pm last Tuesday, I received a message from a friend who works at UAMS. She is being run ragged coordinating volunteers, enhancing the patient experience, assisting nurses, while at the same time maintaining her sanity as a single mom.

Her plea opened my eyes to a situation I had never even imagined.

“Our triage team at UAMS is outside working ridiculously long shifts in double gowns, gloves, goggles and masks outside in a parking deck. The warm weather is killing them and they are boiling.”

She was in search of something, anything that could help those on the front lines keep their own body temps regulated, while they tended to the needs of others.

She described a potential solution further,

“One idea was to find someone who could donate an icee machine or something like that.”

Now that’s a request I don’t get every day. At first, I thought that maybe in her haste to find a fix, she had misspelled “ice machine.”  Nope, she was on a mission to find an Icee machine. You know – the slushee, icee, slurpee type device that creates the frozen treat that causes the ultimate brain freeze. Every. Single. Time.

After clarifying what was needed, I reached out to a few contacts who seemed like the logical choice, knowing full well that finding an oasis amidst this crisis was a long-shot. I went to bed that evening continuing to wrack my brain for ideas.Yet, images of hospital personnel sweating in hazmat suits did not allow for the best night’s sleep.

Apparently, I did fall asleep as I was awakened by a 6:17 am text from Yvette Parker, marketing manager at Ben E. Keith Foods. Amazingly, the text read: “Yes, we have one they can borrow.” And less than four hours later, the wonderful, amazing heroes at UAMS had their own private slushee bar!

How cool is that!? There are so many heroes out there. Our medical professionals are first and foremost the greatest of these. And to those behind the front lines – we know you are out there – please keep doing what you are doing. Even if it means arranging for a supply of brain freezes!

Stay Well. Stay Away!

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