TBT – 1997, Boston Children’s Hospital. I’ve been going through my old journals and came across this email that I sent to friends and family back in June 1997, over 20 years ago. Aaron was in the hospital having a major surgery, laryngotracheoplasty (tracheal reconstructive surgery to remove his tracheostomy tube). This was sent out via AOL when pretty much everyone who was on-line was on AOL.
Update #14 – June 19, 1997
Children’s hospital is quite a place. These doctors and nurses see it all. The most serious cases and cases that can’t be handled in the community hospitals come here to Children’s. There are families here from all over the world. We are so lucky to have this hospital so close by. You don’t need to spend much time here to realize how fragile life is and to be thankful if your kids are healthy. Just walking through the lobby you see kids in wheelchairs, kids with deformities, kids so pasty white and sickly; bandages, IV’s, hearing aids, casts and crutches are plentiful.
They had a busy day in the O.R. the day of Aaron’s extubation / bronchoscopy, so his surgery was delayed. We were told they had 18 O.R.s running all day long and did over 80 surgeries in one day! Eighty children having surgery and more than eighty worried family members pacing the floors of this hospital.
In the past week, we have seen lots of kids come and go from our small little corner of this one-of-many intensive care units. Some with chronic illnesses and experienced parents who know the routine and are coping with more of the same. Then there are families who were worried about their kid’s grades in school one day; and the next, worrying about their kid’s life. The teenage girl who was hit by a dump truck. The 11-year-old boy who lost his hand and his vision when a fire cracker exploded in his hand. The 14-year-old boy who barely escaped death from bacterial meningitis. The baby who has multiple fractures and brain damage after a beating from her mother.
Life certainly is a matter of perspective. And this place certainly does make you think about life and death and what is truly important…