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Born to Nurse

There is something so reassuring about having a nurse – albeit a student nurse – traveling with the team each weekend for our league matches. Daren, skipper of the college team, is also a junior Nursing student.

Today, in second half action, Briggs made what I felt was an unnecessary sliding tackle on the opposition’s right winger. Our left-back actually had the winger covered; and for his troubles, Briggs caught a flailing elbow on the cheek as he slid in.

I have been in football long enough to know just from watching if an injury merits attention. The contact seemed innocuous; and whatever injury occurred from the tackle, I thought, would be inconsequential.

Thus, I was caught by surprise when Briggs stayed down.

The referee was signaling for some attention, and since we were on the far side of the field, I had to ask Pao what was wrong. Briggs was bleeding in the mouth, I was told. He apparently got hit in the face after his braces dug into the inside of his cheek.

Before I could even send someone to take a look, Daren was off running from the bench to the far corner of the field where Briggs dazedly sat. In truth, nobody else had to go. We were all confident Daren would take charge of the situation as he is trained to do.

Soon, he was back with Briggs, the latter all messed up with blood all over his right cheek. I was shouting for somebody to go get some cold water to help stop the bleeding.

“Meron na pô,” Daren assured me. Sure enough, he was holding a tumbler of cold water to Briggs’ cheek.

I had Jay-Jay run for some ice, and as soon as there was some, Daren was coaxing Briggs to put some into his mouth. The bleeding was gone in no time at all.

It’s not the first time I have seen Daren act so quickly and decisively when a teammate gets injured. Whether it’s to get some ice or run for some tape he keeps inside his Nursing bag, the skipper is always quick to respond when somebody needs medical attention.

He does not even have to be sent. To him, it is just instinctive, as though taking care of people who get hurt is something he was born to do.

[This story was originally published September 2008 on Facebook. Daren had since graduated with a BS Nursing degree in March 2010 and is now a registered nurse. He continues to be involved with the football team, coaching a team of U-16s.]

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