I awoke one morning with a serious respiratory condition. An oncoming cold had worsened. Breathing was difficult; this was an asthmatic attack. My voice was failing.
I had a speaking engagement (reading from my new novel) scheduled for 6:30 p.m. the same day at the Cambridge Public Library. I was in a state of high anxiety—near panic. I went that morning to the Harvard University Health Service. My primary physician was on vacation. I was referred to a Kathleen Corbo, a triage nurse. Kathleen immediately diagnosed my physical problem and understood my mental state. She used procedures that improved my breathing, listened to my chest, accompanied me to radiation services for a chest x-ray, and prescribed medications with clear instructions about how and when to take them prior to my presentation. She was calm and caring throughout the treatment. She calmed me. Thanks to Kathleen, I went on stage that evening and delivered a successful presentation without a cough, sneeze, or wheeze.
—Nominated by Florence Ladd