Dr. Michael Shannon is a devoted pediatrician who has spent more than thirty-five years working to help infants and toddlers. He has received recognition from his patients as a compassionate doctor and has been involved in his community helping in different programs.
In 2011, while driving along the Pacific Coast Highway, he was in a car accident. Pinned under a transport truck, his vehicle caught fire. Firefighters from Paramedic Engine 29 were called out and on the crash scene within minutes. Dr. Shannon’s car was on fire and the flames had begun to burn his legs. The firefighters put out the flames and used the Jaws of Life to get the doctor out of the car. He spent 45 days in recovery and had two of his toes amputated, but otherwise made a full return to health and his practice.
One of the members of the fire crew who worked to save Dr. Shannon thought the doctor’s name sounded familiar. At the hospital, he started talking with the doctor and made the connection. Firefighter Chris Trokey was born weighing just 3.2 pounds. His parents were not certain that he would survive those first few days. But his pediatrician – Dr. Shannon – worked around the clock to stabilize the baby and helped to save his life. They were reunited 30 years later on the Pacific Coast Highway.
The two men keep in touch and have been involved in working together to raise funds for charity. Chris has enjoyed connecting with his former doctor and says, “It’s a great feeling, and now he’s my son’s pediatrician.” The life that was saved has in turn saved the one who saved him.
We seldom know or understand the difference we can make in someone’s life. We don’t have to be in the life-saving business to make an impact. I still remember the kind word from a Sunday School teacher that encouraged me and kept me on the straight and narrow. I think about the practical help of a friend who brought some food over when I was sick. Our lives intersect and touch one another far more than we know. Don’t ever downplay any act of kindness.
“So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” (Colossians 3:12)
Make a difference for someone today.