Originally created 01/05/03

Angels walk among us



When Trent Lott crashed and burned, Bill Frist was in the right place at the right time.

Nothing new for him, apparently.

The Tennessee Republican and soon-to-be U.S. Senate majority leader was there when Sen. Strom Thurmond, R-S.C., collapsed on the Senate floor in 2001; assisted victims of the Capitol gunman in 1998; revived a man who collapsed in a Senate office building in 1995; gave out medical advice during the anthrax attacks on Capitol Hill; and this past week helped at a highway accident scene near Miami.

Broward County rescue officials said Frist, a heart surgeon, gave "invaluable" assistance at the scene where five people in an SUV sustained serious injuries on I-75's "Alligator Alley" Wednesday afternoon. In one instance, officials said Frist was key to getting a breathing tube inserted in one patient.

Much is being made of the fact that a member of Congress stepped in and played hero - and the fuss is warranted.

But in truth, Frist's actions weren't emblematic of the Senate; he is, after all, the body's only medical doctor.

Rather, the moral of this story is that angels walk among us: the men and women of the medical profession.

You never know whether the person in the car behind you is a doctor or nurse or other health care worker - or when you might need them.

These angels travel our roads and walk our sidewalks anonymously every day. But every now and then, they are pressed into life-saving service. And what a blessing to have them there.

America is blessed to have such ready care. But Augusta is twice blessed, with more than our share of health care professionals in our midst.

After all, if we have need of emergency care on the road, we don't need a senator, or even a Senate majority leader.

We need a health care professional.