Her hand was hurt — a bad crash pinning her right arm against a wall tearing off the skin and tissue right down to tendons and bones. At 2 years old she handled the pain with as much courage and grace as a toddler could. Her devoted parents hardly left her side for days as she was taken back and forth to the OR to clean and debride the wound. She spent the first few days in the hospital sleeping off the shock and constant anesthesia. As the days wore on and she started to wake up and become familiar with the hospital ward that was to be her temporary home while she healed, a beautiful thing took place. This sweet little two year old began “visiting” the other patients on the ward. At our hospital, the pediatric patients and the adult women are admitted to the same large ward so her daily ministrations included her peers and also women who were old enough to be her mother or grandmother. Going from bed to bed she would sing or babble, taking the time to “chat” with each person. Her mother and father would sit back and watch as she went about the ward greeting her people. The nurses were her biggest fans laughing and yelling out encouragement as she marched around beds that sat higher than her head. As I went through my own daily rounds I would often find her standing next to me quietly watching while I attended to each patient. I wish I could fully explain to you the beauty of what happens to a sick, hurting person when a little child comes over and sings to them. Much like a flower slowly opening to reveal the beauty of its petals, each face would brighten and then slowly a glorious smile would spread out on softened cheeks.
Wonderful's bandage comes off tomorrow and if the graft looks healthy, she will go home. While I am happy that this vivacious little soul will finally be free of these hospital walls, I am going to miss the littlest doctor on the ward!