At morning devotional we discussed the topic of trust and gratitude. Each family gives us total trust to care for their children. They trust our individual gifts that we each brought on this trip and trust our hearts to care for them with compassion. We were encouraged to remember this thought the day and to thank each other for the individual gifts we bring.
Each morning after we arrive at the hospital, Neal (one of our team leaders) and I take time to frame photos that he individually took of all the children before their surgeries. We then distribute them to patients that had surgery the previous day as a gift before they are discharged home. Often times, this is the only framed photo the families have of their children, to say they are grateful would be an understatement. Their eyes fill with joy and gratitude as they look at their new photos and show their families - a truly special experience. Giving this gift is a way our team can tell our patients and families that they are more than just a patient and we are thankful to have been given their trust so that we can give them the care they need.
The last two days we have had the pleasure of spending time with a special family. Two years ago, a mother brought her twins to us for them each to be treated by our team. While they both had successful surgeries, one of the twins required more attention than the other. When she didn’t return back to the PACU as quickly as the first twin, the mother became extremely worried, leaning on our team for support. She trusted us. Two members of our group in particular, stayed by her side throughout her wait, Flavio (pastor) and Norma (interpreter). With their emotional support, she waited patiently for her daughter. When she arrived, the mother asked that Norma and Flavio be named the Godparents of her twins. After a quick yes, there was a small ceremony held to celebrate Normal and Flavio and the twins. On Monday, the family traveled 8 hours and by multiple buses to come visit with Norma, Flavio, and the rest of our team. The trust and gratitude that this family had during their surgeries, and continues to have long after, is inspiring. Taking the time to travel this far, for a short period of time to show that is not something we see often in our daily lives. They are the reason we travel this far and the reason we will continue to help those in need of medical care.