True Mystic Experiences
by Dennis Ambrose
On a late afternoon in the early spring of 1972 I was involved in my second auto accident in ten months. Another drunk driver hit my car, but this time the injuries were devastating. I blacked out for a moment. When coming to I witnessed the smoldering wreckage of the other vehicle. For sure I thought the other driver was dead. Twisted metal blocked my view for a moment. Don’t panic, I thought. Someone will come to help you. But it seemed forever before anyone arrived.
I couldn’t move my legs. Then the pain became unbearable. My chest felt crushed and it became difficult to take air into my lungs. The next thing I remember was being taken on a stretcher into Midland Memorial, the closest hospital in the area. Within minutes a group of doctors were standing over me.
“You’re badly injured,” the doctors stated as they began pumping painkillers into my arm. Within seconds I was asleep.
Late that night I awoke to a night nurse by my side. She appeared young, yet compassionate.
“How are you feeling?” she asked in a quiet tone of voice.
My eyes were blurry and the nurse faded in and out of sight. “What time is it?” I asked.
“Its three a.m.” she replied. Then she touched my arm.
Her hand felt hot, but I did not pull my arm away. I kept drifting in and out of sleep for the rest of the night. Yet each time I woke I could see the young nurse standing by my side. By dawn she was gone.
The second night she lifted me up so that I could sit by the edge of my bed. It was three in the morning again and she would stay till dawn each night. I thought it was unusual that a night nurse would spend several hours with one patient.
“What is your name?” I asked.
“Selva,” she replied.
Unusual name, I thought. It didn’t matter. Selva was an angel to me. She took the time to spend a few hours with a helpless person and I thought it to be a great act of kindness.
On the third night she came into my room again. It was three o’clock.
“You are being moved tomorrow to another hospital,” she said. “I won’t be seeing you again. I cannot stay with you very long this night; so much work to do.”
Selva touched my hand. Her touch was very warm but again with no burning effect. I must have fallen off to sleep.
When I woke, Selva was gone. I felt an emptiness I had never experienced before. I just wanted to see her one last time. What a beautiful nurse to take so much time out for me!
The next morning they came to move me to Copper Hospital, a place where they would be better equipped to heal my legs. The pain seemed to subside. This was strange even with painkillers.
On the way through the hallway, I asked to stop at the main floor desk. I had a note for Selva that I wanted her to have in gratitude of all she done. I handed it to the head nurse.
“Give this to Selva,” I requested.
The nurse looked at me in a serious manner. “Who is Selva?” she asked.
“The night nurse.”
“Sir, there is no night nurse working here named Selva.”
“What are you talking about? She came to my room every night about three in the morning.”
“I would know her,” the head nurse explained. “I know everyone that’s on this floor.”
I spent another few weeks in Copper Hospital. After being discharged I visited Midland a few more times, searching for Selva. Perhaps she was an illusion from the heavy medication I was on at the time. Or was she something else?—Vineland, N.J.