How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!~1 John 3:1
Looking back, its almost comical to think about how we all waited for the boy. There were several of us: a guilt-ridden nurse who had organized the exam, the time-pressed cardiologist with her proud resident, the serious anesthesiologist, and the frustrated, yet patient, echo technologist with her overly excited sonography student. The pending procedure was a transesophageal echocardiogram, an ultrasound in which a probe is inserted through the patient’s mouth and into the esophagus to obtain better views of the heart. It was ordered last minute for a pediatric inpatient and somehow all of the key players had arrived, except one – the patient!
We waited half an hour before the boy was wheeled into the room. I remember smiling at an assortment of stuffed animals and action figures that ran the length of his gurney. My instructor whispered that the boy was a very nervous 13-year-old with Down syndrome, as she and the nurse gently calmed and comforted him. Before long, in a blur of routine and professional steps, we began.
After a successful procedure, the echo tech and I made our way back to the lab. I commented on the toys lining the boy’s bed. Smiling sadly, she told me that the toys had actually caused the delay. Apparently, when his nurse attempted to wheel him out of his room, he threw a fit until she realized he wouldn’t leave without them. The tech explained that the boy was a ward of the state who lived in a group home and frequented the hospital. Our conversation was interrupted and the weight of it all didn’t hit me until later that night.
Children don’t belong in the hospital, but if they must go, they should have their family around them for comfort and support. This boy I had met earlier had come alone, a ward of the state, and government aside, his only family was the toys by his side. He had been scared about the procedure and of course he wanted them next to him: they were all he had.
I cannot wait until Jesus comes and this boy can have the family he needs and deserves. When the day comes, he will have a Father that will look him in the eyes with more than he has ever experienced. But until then, I will strive in my daily works to show that love and support to the patients I serve.-Emily Unterseher is an ultrasonographer at LLUMC.