“She was sitting sweetly, snuggled next to her two boys on the bench. She had oxygen tubing leading into her nose. But she looked young and healthy and happy. So I stopped and introduced myself, and asked her for her story.
"I need a double lung transplant caused by rheumatoid arthritis,” she said. She was 36. Her boys 11 and 7. “I don’t even know how I got it. I don’t smoke, or drink, or do drugs.”
“I did something bad once,” she said. “I committed fraud. I got in with the wrong people, and I went to prison for two years. But God has given me a second chance.”
She has a beautiful name, Arileyda Amparo, and she lives in Philadelphia. She comes to Temple Hospital every six weeks to have her blood checked. She is just waiting for an appropriate set of lungs to become available.
Why Temple? “This is the best hospital for it,” she said. “And I can see that. They treat me good. I feel safe here.”
She takes many medications. “Drugs help one thing and damage another. It’s a battle every day but God give me the strength everyday.”
Her boys were now running circles around her bench, the energy of youth. They had gotten check-ups themselves that afternoon.
I thanked her and wished her well. Their ride was here and they were gone.