Reprinted with permission from Joan Wester Anderson's website.

It was May, 1995, and 44-year-old Denise lay in the recovery room at Yale University Hospital in New Haven, Connecticut. She had been very ill with throat cancer for over a year. Radiation hadn't worked, and surgery had been her only option. Now her voicebox and lymph nodes had been removed to halt the disease's progress. But her chance for life seemed even less than the doctor had thought. Now, as Denise slowly awakened, many people in white coats surrounded her. They seemed grim, and Denise was seized with a sudden terror. What was wrong? She looked up and noticed one very young doctor. He was looking down at her, his expression kind, and he seemed to glow. She must be dreaming…

When Denise got back to her room, her worried brother Ron was waiting. Although she could no longer speak, she gestured to Ron. "I wanted to see what they had cut and what they had done to me. Ron hesitated, but handed me my compact."

Denise gasped. Her head looked at least three times its normal size. Her throat had been cut past both ears and she couldn't raise her head. She began to sob. Ron ran for a doctor.

Instead, the young man Denise had seen in the recovery room came in. "It's all right," he told her soothingly. "Your head won't stay like this. The scar is bad, yes, but you're alive, and you're going to get better." He picked up her hand and held it. Peace seemed to flow through Denise. She fell asleep.

The next time Denise awakened, it was 4 a.m. When she rang for a nurse, the same doctor came in! He was smiling, and he spoke so softly she could barely hear him. "You're going to be all right. I want you to know that. I'm here. I'll never leave you," he said, leaning over her. This time Denise was awake enough to study him. His features seemed flawless. His hair was short and blond, cut in an old-fashioned way with longish bangs and parted on the left. He had bright blue-green eyes. His hand was warm, soft and strong. Again, Denise fell asleep again with him telling her she would be fine. From that point on, every day at 4 a.m. she would wake up and he would be there, holding her hand and talking softly.

"The next time Ron came in to see me, I wrote to him on my tablet about this doctor," Denise said. "I wanted Ron to find out his name. I wanted to thank him for being so kind to stay with me when I was too afraid to be alone. I suggested Ron check the interns because I thought he must be an intern. What doctor would have this much time to spend with just one patient?"

Ron went out to talk to the nurses, but when he returned, he looked at her strangely. "You must have been dreaming," he said.

"NO!" Denise scribbled on the pad.

"He doesn't exist, Dee, I asked all the nurses. And they checked. No one has seen anyone like him. No one knows him, either"

Denise knew better than to argue with Ron. It was only later, when she got home, that she learned her brother had continued to look for the unknown doctor. He had stopped only when several nurses assured him that wasn't unusual at all for a hospital patient to see her guardian angel.

Denise recovered from her cancer, and she knows she suffered less because of the angel's presence. "Maybe someday," she said, "I can tell him face-to-face once again, Thank you so much."

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