I met Jan for the first time in a hotel in Berlin, for Breakfast. I was a little nervous, nevertheless, I worked at intensive care for more than ten years, I didn’t have any experience with young paraplegic persons.
Jan asked me to wait at the lobby, so he could pick me up. And while I was sitting there, wondering how to say „hi“ properly, the elevator opened up and in came Jan (on his own).
First thing I noticed, is that you don’t notice the wheelchair at all, first. I only noticed his bright blue eyes smiling at me and I felt comfortable, right away. He just said „let’s go for breakfast“ and that’s what we did.
Later on, when working with Jan, I found out that this particular glow I noticed in this eyes that morning, was him looking FORWARD FOR BREAKFAST. 😉
Cause he LOVES to EAT. He’s basically a true nerd, who loves to eat GOOD STUFF.
So I sat down at the table with him, we had breakfast and later on, his girlfriend Zivile joined us.
Zivile is a wonderful, strong and funny person, and it’s lovely being around the two of them.
When I went to Jan’s flat for my first shift, she taught me how to do the transfer and everything else I needed to know.
I was more than impressed, by how she handled things, without any proper nursing training or other types of experience. She’s a very special, very rare type of person, that you don’t meet very often.
Then she left and it was just Jan and me. We where hanging out, cooking, I was doing the laundry and it didn’t feel like working at all. It was fantastic.
I was prepared, that, when working with Jan, I would feel sorry for him sometimes, cause of his injury, but that’s not the case.
Don’t get me wrong, it can be pretty shitty when the elevator is broken, and he has to find an accessible hotel right away, or he can’t leave his flat. But he never complains. Never. He just finds a solution.
He is running his own company, which he founded before his accident, not letting anything stop him from living his best life.
And I respect that, it is cool. He is just cool.
I really like spending time with him and working with him. And I am not saying „working for him“ cause it never feels that way.
His whole nursing team consists of very different characters from all over the world, and he taught me a lot about accepting people the way they are, while seeing their skills individually.
I honestly have never felt any more appreciated and respected in my whole work life as a nurse before. I’m glad that we met. My dog is, too.