In times like these, we just need to hear some heartwarming stories to renew our faith in humanity.
So, instead of sharing their worst days, a host of key workers, such as police officers, paramedics, and firefighters, shared their very best stories from their jobs. And one in particular - of a Houston boy helping the homeless of his city - stands out from the rest.
But first, let's take a look at some of the most memorable stories...
This defense lawyer was sure their client was innocent.
Very early in my career as a criminal defense attorney, I had a black college student charged with a shooting. It was getting a lot of media statewide due to one of the people involved being a professional athlete.
After investigating, I became convinced that he was innocent and the actual shooter was probably one of the state's primary witnesses. I had only had a few jury trials at that point and they all were defendants that were guilty as hell but refused to plead out. I didn't have a ton of faith in either a jury or my own ability to handle the case/consequences.
It pays to be prepared!
I worked my ass off in preparation. Once we started the trial, I realized I was knocking down every piece of evidence that the state was presenting. I was pumped with adrenaline and growing confidence. I tore up their star witness, who I thought was probably the actual shooter. One of the jurors actually laughed at the guy in disbelief of some of the things he was testifying to.-WinterPush
In the end, it was a day worth remembering.
I gave a thirty-minute closing argument without even looking at my notes with the jury nodding along to everything I was saying. They were out 20 minutes and came back with a not guilty verdict. Frontpage news article in the biggest papers in the state. The client's mom is hugging me crying with relief in one of the photos.
That guy still calls me up once a year to check in. Married, kids, solid white-collar job. I always think of that case when I start to have doubts about doing defense work.-WinterPush
Don't worry, the story gets better.
via: GettyParamedic here. My best ever job was on a hot summers day in Australia, we were called to an 11-year-old boy that had drowned in his family pool. I was halfway through a foot-long meatball sub when it happened. We were about 5 minutes away, and when we arrived the boy's mother was providing CPR while his 8-year-old twin sisters watched on, horrified. -Tickser
They got right to work.
via: GettyI check the carotid pulse (non-existent) and started to take over on compressions, my partner started to unpack the defib pads while our student toweled the kid off. Defib comes back showing Ventricular Tachycardia (one of the only two shockable rhythms), so we hit him with the lightning and he instantly went back into sinus rhythm (normal heart rhythm). -Tickser
It must feel amazing to save a life.The kid then began to splutter, we rolled in him into the recovery position to help him get the water out of his lungs. In such a high octane situation, it honestly felt so good to be able to successfully revive somebody. I still think about that job any time that I wonder why I'm in this profession. -Tickser
There's a reason people go to therapy.
I did my year-long internship at a university counseling center. While we normally only saw clients for 8-12 sessions, we were allowed to have one longer-term client to give us more experience. Mine ended up being this wonderful young woman who was deeply depressed. She was an identical twin. Sessions were slow going at first and there were a lot of tears. She worked through a lot and she was much better by the end of our ~10 months working together. My supervisor and I talked about her frequently and she watched tapes of our sessions.-Ayzmo
And the positivity went full-circle.
The next year I was on my post-doc and I got a call from my former supervisor who had just started seeing my client's twin in private practice. The mother of the two, not knowing who my supervisor was, started talking to her about how her other daughter had gone to therapy and how her therapist had changed her life.
My supervisor called me to tell me this because, as she well knows, we don't get to hear that very often.-Ayzmo
Even teachers deal with a lot: they're responsible for hundreds of kids every year.I was a teacher in a low-income charter school, which you may recognize as a recipe for disaster. The school was poorly run, we had to provide most supplies ourselves, and had unreasonable and unrealistic expectations placed on us. I was teaching 1st grade at the time. We had a rule that only one child could be out of the classroom at a time, no matter what. I had 30 kids. -talibob
One day, there was an incident.Eventually, one of my kids had a bathroom accident (I have to say here if I knew he had to go that bad, I would have let him go rules be damned. He never gave any indication that it was an emergency). He did his best, but 1st graders have small bladders. I got him a change of clothes and minimized his embarrassment as much as I could. -talibob
Angry parents are no joke.His mom was furious. She came in the next day and spent a solid 10 minutes screaming at me. A dean finally came and escorted her away and I thought that would be the end of it. It wasn't. She stayed at the school the entire day and just...watched. She saw what the teachers were going through and what we had to deal with. She came back to me at the end of the day and apologized. -talibob
From there, it got even better.She was my biggest supporter from then on and if I needed something, she had it for me. On the day I quit, she hugged me and told me that I was too good for that place and it was her son's last day too. Obviously, I've had better days than that in my career, but that was a day that gave me hope and helped me not give up my career due to one bad school. -talibob
This physical rehab nurse changed a patient's life.
I work physical rehab in a skilled nursing facility. I had a young, early-40s patient with a hereditary degenerative condition who had been through different hospitals and facilities for months. In addition to genuine pain and disability she was being very self-limiting--unwilling to do pretty much anything for fear of it increasing her pain levels.-HeadFullOfBrains
But with encouragement, she got better.
Bit by bit a coworker and I convinced her to first roll over, then sit, then stand, then spend longer and longer periods out of bed. Finally, we got to the point where we were able to do a home visit, and you could see her remembering what it was like to be in her own space. That light of the desire to go home was in her eyes and she worked harder from that point on, and two weeks later she was discharged. Helping her into the car and waving it out of the parking lot was the best feeling I've had so far in my career.
Tl;dr: Was able to help someone go from bedridden inpatient to home in a wheelchair after months of painstaking work.-HeadFullOfBrains
This police officer did some good detective work.Policeman in a small town. I got a call to try and locate a woman who was on the heart transplant list. She wasn't answering her phone or pager. It was the early '90s and she didn't have a cell phone. It was in the middle of the night and cold in the middle of Feb. I knocked on the door of every neighbor on her culdesac without success. The last house on Culdesac which was across the street told me she'd gone to her mothers out of town. -Steveg27
And here's where they are now:I was able to get her number and contact her. She got a new heart that night. I'm retired now and still see her on occasion. She always makes a big deal and hugs me. She'd forgotten her pager and didn't go back to get it thinking 'what are the chances they'll call tonight'... -Steveg27
Being a doctor certainly isn't easy.
Doctor. I was on duty in the emergency unit in a rural hospital in a third world country when two women arrived with >60% total body surface area burns after the gas canister in the school kitchen where they volunteered exploded. Both women were fully conscious when they were brought in.
I treated them aggressively - morphine, fluids, burn dressings, intubated both to protect their airways - and made arrangements for transfer to a hospital equipped to treat them further, but they had an extremely poor prognosis due to ongoing damage and associated complications.-blueginpinktonic
And this was looking like another sad case.
I was sad but not surprised to hear that the one woman passed away within hours. At that stage I worked in a very fragmented system and since I did not hear anything about the second woman I assumed she died as well.
For some weeks I had trouble adjusting to the idea that the last thing in their lives those two women heard was me saying, "Hi, I'm Dr. So-and-So, you got very badly burnt, I gave you some strong pain stuff but I'm worried about damage to your face, so I'm going to give you something to make you sleep and then put a tube in your lungs to protect them, ok?" (paraphrased slightly)-blueginpinktonic
But then, something happened!
Slightly over six months later I get a call from the sister on duty at the emergency unit, "There is someone here that you absolutely want to see."
It was the second woman from that fire. She had been through hell - skin grafts, rehabilitation, depression - but against the odds had survived. She also immediately recognized me as the one who said "I'm going to give you something to make you sleep," but she remembered it more favorably than I did.
It was easily the happiest day of my entire career so far, practicing for +- 11years now.-blueginpinktonic
Imagine being trapped in a warehouse like this!
via: GettyWe saved a couple of kids stuck in a locked warehouse. It made my day seeing their faces after we had rescued them. -esev12345678
And then, there are stories like this one:
Medical Student... the best day in the ER it sure was the day where we saw 1 (very minor) patient in our 6-hour rotation. Not due to a lack of room or staff, but due to a lack of patients. No new patients mean no people suffering from something new.
After the rotation, an attending made a comment along the lines of "Heaven is the place where neither Doctors nor Police is needed" and frankly, I couldn't agree more.-exmormonlds
And isn't that a nice thought?
Sure, this was aided by the fact it was a long holiday, most people were out of town, my city is only 1.8 million people and there are around 7 or 8 ERs... but still!
Moral of the story: When your job depends on other's misfortune you sure love to be bored and without anything to do!-exmormonlds
Sometimes people end up in a tough position.
Nurse here. I was a student in a cardiac unit and there was a lady there waiting for surgery. She and her husband spoke little English, although their friend was there sometimes to help translate. The night before her surgery her husband and friend left and I helped her take a sanitizing shower to prep for the next day. My preceptor told me her surgery was extremely risky and carried only a 20% chance of success. Neither of us was sure if she understood this fully, but she knew it was necessary and she was scared.-ironmaven
What a heart-wrenching thought!
I kept thinking it might be her last night on earth and she was here all alone. Through broken communication her last words to me that night were her thank yous because she said we were so sweet and caring in a time when she was so afraid. I didn't care whether I was allowed or not, but I gave her a strong hug before I left that night. On the eve of surgery, she was all alone, regular hospital meal, with little ability to communicate. I left with a terrible sadness.-ironmaven
But sometimes, the odds work in our favor.
I was relieved when I did see her the next week when she demanded more hugs and asked why I wasn't her nurse again.
There are days we see someone for the last time, and sometimes we never find out. Then there are days when things go well and people remember the kindness they received instead of their fear.-ironmaven
And sometimes you don't find out what happens next, but do your best anyway.I'm an EMT, and I would say one of my best days was a call we got for a young girl who was feeling suicidal. I will admit, I'm not sure she needed an ambulance, but I spent a lot of time in the back with her, talking, and she seemed a lot better and happier by the time we got to the hospital. It struck me because it was the first call where I felt like I had truly helped someone with their mental health problems. I still think about her sometimes, and I hope she's doing better. -HumbleAssociation
This doctor had a rough start in their career.
I'm a physician. Some years ago, I was a resident on obstetrics on my FIRST DAY, FIRST HOUR of my shift and I watched a pregnant woman almost die and give birth to a baby boy that ended up dying shortly after due to the complications of childbirth. The boy required extensive resuscitation - it was my first time seeing a "code" on a child, let alone a newborn.-jochi1543
We promise this story has a happy ending!
However, he ended up with severe brain damage and was eventually taken off life support in the NICU. It was their third round of IVF, and the previous two rounds had failed. It was one of those very unfortunate stories where nothing could have been done - maybe if the woman had presented earlier, but unfortunately, despite emergency surgery, it was too late.
Thankfully, the mother survived with no health consequences, but it was emotionally devastating for everyone involved. Multiple nurses were agonizing whether they had done something wrong, my attending had told me to expect a lawsuit. Thankfully, it never materialized. But, that was probably the worst day I've ever had on the job.-jochi1543
Now that we've heard about the worst day, let's hear about the best:
Two years later, I was on pediatrics in the same hospital and I was examining a prematurely born infant that was a few months old. As the mom and I were fiddling with the baby, I noticed the mom had a tattoo of a boy's name and date below it on her wrist. I looked at the date and realized it was the first day of my residency training. I immediately had chills come over me.
I debated for a minute whether it was inappropriate for me to ask that, but I went ahead and asked the mom "Did you, by any chance, lose a baby boy at this hospital on X date?"-jochi1543
Getting closure is a powerful thing.
She said "Yes" and I told her I was the resident who first examined her. We talked about her traumatic experience, as she teared up and said that after that, she couldn't fathom getting pregnant, or even setting foot on the maternity ward, ever again.
Eventually, she said she and her husband came to the realization that they were ready to consider adoption and listed themselves in a North American registry. Then she said one day she got a call saying there was a severely premature newborn available some 3000 miles away. It was an abandoned baby that was left at a fire station. She said they didn't think twice and booked the flight to go and get the baby.-jochi1543
It was fate!
They went through the adoption process and the baby was now thriving, several months old, developing well, and cared for by a loving family. She said she felt that she and this baby were meant to find each other after both traveling these extremely difficult paths.
It was probably the most heartwarming story I've ever come across and it was so relieving to hear that this woman (and the abandoned baby) all found their happy endings. So, I would say it was my best day on the job.-jochi1543
Here's a great story just in time for Christmas!
My wife saved Christmas! She works as a Support Coordinator for families with kids with developmental disabilities. One of her families is a single father, who we'll call Super Dad, who has three kids ranging through 10 to 20, all with moderate to high needs, all with different specific requirements.
At the time he was also caring for his terminally ill mother who was living with him and had been on hospice for I think a year or more. Super Dad is a fantastic parent who sometimes presents as flaky or noncommittal because trying to manage all of that is a lot, and things fall through the cracks.-JMTolan
Dad set up a nice Christmas for the kids.Super Dad's ex is, from everything I've heard, prime r/iamatotalpieceofs**t material, but Dad continues to try and give her opportunities to be involved in her kids' lives (or did) because he's forgiving and wants his kids to have a mom!
So Super Dad saved up a little money, like $100 or $150, to do a Christmas shopping experience for the kids, and he invited mom to come along. He even took the precaution of hiding the money, just in case. So mom shows up, they socialize with kids for a while, and then Dad goes to the bathroom or is otherwise indisposed for a few minutes.-JMTolan
But then, the mother went and ruined it.When he comes back, mom is nowhere to be found. He asks his kids where she is, and they indicate she went into the kitchen. He goes in, and finds the place has been rolled, and the money he'd hid is gone, and mom is nowhere to be found. She had stolen her own kids' Christmas money.
So Dad calls the police, they put out a notice to pick her up, and actually they find her pretty quickly, with, wouldn't you know it, about the missing amount of money, less some cigarettes, and snacks. They call dad to let him know but explain that, due to the investigative process and whatever all other regulations, the money is evidence, and he won't get it back immediately.-JMTolan
And that's where the support coordinator comes in!
via: GettySo he calls my wife at 2:00 on the last business day before Christmas and explains what happened. She gets off work at 4, for reference, and since it's the end of a pay period, she can't go over her allotted time.
My wife basically puts out an APB to her coworkers (half of whom are already gone) and starts calling up all of the various gift charity organizations. Problem is, most of them have already sent things out, or are about to. They don't have anything spare if they have anything available at all, and with most of them, she can't even get a hold of a live person.-JMTolan
A Merry Christmas, after all.
Finally, at 3:50, she gets a call back from a place that runs a system where basically the kids get to walk through a warehouse and pick a certain number of things for their gifts to have. They have everything sorted and ready to go, and all their anticipated slots are full, but as she explains Super Dad's situation, the lady at the charity basically says "Screw procedure; usually, we have at least a few families that don't make it anyway, give them my number. If they can call me tonight, I'll make sure they get in tomorrow before we officially open."
And with 5 minutes overtime, Super Dad gets to tell his kids that the next day they get to go pick out Christmas gifts. :)-JMTolan
False alarms can be scary, but at least they're false.
Was called to a home for a drowning. 2-year-old patient. Drownings suck because they nearly always end badly. We arrive on the scene and there is a mother holding a 3-year-old and another 2-year-old child is soaking wet playing on the ground getting muddy. Long story short, these people don't even have a pool. Their 3-year-old was messing on the phone and accidentally called 911. While on the line he kept telling the dispatcher that his brother was in the water. So the call came to us.
Mom gave us cupcakes and we played with them in the mud for a little bit. Great day.-hurrdurrilikecake