Thank you

I thank God first, for all the blessings of this life. I've many people to thank. My medical team has been extraordinary, as well as my support system of family and friends. I owe the following doctors, nurses, therapists and medical facilities my deepest gratitude. Doctors: Ronald E. Little, Mary Ann Guidice, John Baker, Carla Morton, Neal Borney, Arthur Johnson, Theodore Wizenberg, Michelle Reid, Kenneth Bottesi, Eric Backos, Veena Gupta, Deborah Bihun and Melek Kayser. Receiving Hospital, The Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan, Neurological Recovery Systems, The Michigan Hand Rehabilitation Center and St. John's Surgery Center. Occupational and Physical Therapists: Cindy Nolff, Lynn Lundgren, Shirley Matthews, Sandy Samacki, Ann Marie and Jean Sporer at (RIM), Michelle Zaverzence and Sandy Hertel at (NRS), Debbie Phillips, Christine Szczpanski, Michael Katalinich, Eileen Maday and Jim Riley at (MHRC), All of the Critical Care nurses on 4M at Receiving, especially Sue Carpenter and Irene Brier who checked on me even after I was transferred. The nurses on the seventh floor at Rehab. There is an approximate two and a half week period of which I have no recollection. I have a story to share about a chance meeting with one of the people of that time.

A few years ago, at a casual little gig in front of Gayle's Chocolates, I announced I was about to take a break. I only said my first name. A man walked up to me and said, "Are you Shahida Nurullah?" I said yes. He said, "Wow, we never get to see the people afterwards. I'm one of the doctors who cared for you when you were first brought to the hospital. You were really in bad shape. We knew you were a singer, so when I saw the cane I figured it had to be you. You look great and you sound great. It's wonderful to see you." Well needless to say, I was overwhelmed. I was moved by his reaction at seeing me and that after so many years and patients later, he remembered my name. I told him it made me very happy to be able to personally thank him. My thanks to the Emergency Room doctors and nurses and the nurses in the Intensive Care Unit. To the late Sandra Rener, an angel sent to me by Medical Care Coordinators, and Marilyn Lantor who is currently working with me. The unwitting relinquishment of one's independence after physical trauma requires a great deal of patience from oneself as well as those around you. Many others have contributed to my recovery and progress. I was blessed to have had the late Thomas (Beans) Bowles and William Eugene Kee in my life as musical and spiritual leaders. Sterling Glenn Sangoma has been a wonderful vocal instructor and friend. Thank you to my family, extended family, friends, the great musicians I work with, my attorneys, my neighbors the Hardaways, the Book Club of Detroit, the club owners who struggle to keep live music going and the people of Detroit. I'm alive, I'm happy and the glass is always half full. Life is good.

In closing, on the morning I was hit, January 26, 1989, at the corner of Kercheval and Van Dyke around 8:00 a.m., a man stopped to see if I was breathing and performed CPR. I don't know who you are, but I owe my life. I wouldn't be writing this letter if it were not for your kindness and humanity. Thank you and God bless you.

Shahida Nurullah is a jazz singer. E-mail [email protected]
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