Saturday, December 18, 2010
~Reflections of Cystic Fibrosis~
http://www.cysticfibrosis.ca/(click here for more info)
I remember a visit to Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto, Ontario back in 2004. Tristan (5--diagnosed with Spherocytosis which is a blood disease) was there to have his spleen and gallbladder removal surgery and we had to spend 11 days on the surgical floor as he healed.
I took advantage of having someone to sit with Tristan and I took a brief jaunt to grab a coffee and a snack. In the nurses/admission area I saw a woman holding a very sick looking little baby. He was several months old, and had tubes attached to him. The mother had a very sad glint in her eyes, but smiled at me and said "Hi" as I approached.
My mommy senses kicked in and I just had to take a peak at her baby boy and let her know how cute I thought he was. I then asked her what was wrong. She told me he was born with Cystic Fibrosis and his life expectancy was nearing its end. My heart took a leap and I felt my eyes instantly fill with tears. I instinctively reached out and placed my hand on her arm and looked at her and told her how sorry I was to hear that as I had also lost a baby to stillbirth and it was a pain that I could relate to.
How does a parent maintain composure as they know their child's life is ending? At that moment in time I couldn't even conceive of experiencing and surviving such a thing.
She thanked me for listening as she shared her son's all too brief life story and explained that all they could do at that point was provide him with comfort measures and hope for the best. The only thing which may prolong his life was if another family lost their baby and donated the necessary tiny lungs to another family in need.
I walked away with tears and just felt such an incredibly overwhelming sense of sorrow and heartache for this woman. Thoughts of her and her baby stayed with me over those next several days, weeks, months, and even years. Every time I hear the words 'Cystic Fibrosis', this woman and her beautiful son instantly appear in my mind.
Despite the sadness which she was experiencing, she was still able to smile and truly appreciate that I had stopped and allowed her to speak with me. She said most people just keep on walking and go about their day. She just needed someone to listen, show compassion and empathy, and provide that little bit of comfort in that moment.
This link gives hope for the future for many families that are struggling to survive with Cystic Fibrosis. Click here for more personal stories of hopes, dreams, and determination.
As we are in the midst of our holiday season, please remember all those that are spending their holidays in hospitals around the world, watching their loved ones slip away.
What can you do? Consider the generous, self-less gift of organ donation to help another family in need.
Life----it's in you to give.