February 3, 2013

A view from the sidelines ...

Yesterday was a long day. I was at Texas Children's Hospital with my sister and her family, as well as other family and friends in support of my 7-month-old nephew, Alex's open heart surgery. (Follow his journey on his blog, For Love of Alex.) According to my parking ticket, I was there for about 11 hours. Looking back, it was a very eye opening experience.

There were so many families that I saw, as we walked the halls and in the Ronald McDonald House sponsored waiting area at the Heart Center. There were amilies who had just arrived and others who had been there for months, all hoping to create a better future for their child.

As we walked the halls, I saw a 4-year-old boy pushing his own IV monitor wearing a superhero cape, there was a tired parents sleeping on chairs or grandparents leading their family in prayer. As I went to see Alex before leaving, I passed a father crying unashamed over the bed of his sleeping toddler daughter.

It hurt my heart to see so many children, each someone's baby, hurting. It is amazing that we have facilities such as Texas Children's Hospital, but its sad that we have enough need to keep them operating. The care and attention we had from the staff and volunteers yesterday and since Alex has been there has been nothing short of genuine. The care and concern, the patience with which staff answers questions and the ready smiles offered by volunteers are touches that make the reason Alex is at Texas Children's more bearable.

I had time to do some research while waiting for news on Alex's surgery. Texas Children's Hostial serves families whose childrem have a wide variety of with specialists in cardiovascular disease, pediatric research, birth defects, learning disabilities, mental retardation, developmental problems, social services and leukemia and other blood disorders.

It opened my eyes to the scope of work these specialists see on a daily basis. It opened my eyes to the challenges that these families face. It was hard to walk through the halls and not be amazed by the quick smiles of children in hospital gowns and the laughter of families in elevators. But most inspitational was the parents, burdened with the medical issues of theor own child, who made a point to stop and offer my sister words of encouragement and stories of hope, like the mom whose daughter recieved a heart transplant 10 years ago. "Everything will be o.k.," she said. "I can tell you that. We are proof of that." One day, we will be able to share those words of encouragement with others ... that is the hope I hold on too. Paying it forward, because "Miracles Happen!"

1 Tea Party Guest:

ancient one said...

Prayers for your sister's baby. So glad y'all have a children's hospital that can take care of these children.