Personal information obtained on therapy visits is confidential. When applicable the name/location/sex/condition of persons visited may be changed to protect privacy. However, the interactions, conversations are true and did occur as written.
Gopher, Squirrel, Chad, and Carla are all volunteers. They do not officially represent any institution that may be mentioned.
I have often heard that a parent’s joy comes from seeing their children smile. Having never been a parent to humans, I am unable to confirm this. I also have been faced with the fear and apprehension of parents working through a difficult medical situation. I have experienced it countless time holding on to Gopher’s leash and a couple times on the other end with my own niece.
Add into the fear and apprehension a reasonably upset and angry child. A child, who does not understand what’s going on, does not feel well and nothing can be done as a parent to soothe or provide comfort. The sky is falling and all you have is a broken umbrella, the desperation has to be among the most difficult parents face.
One young patient not that long ago was just like that. No smiles, not even for a moment, upset, uncomfortable, confused and frustrated. His anger was nearly palpable. He was just getting ready to leave his room and head to surgery when the staff had us pause for a moment.
They told us what was going on, and they hoped the boys might help.
Gopher and Squirrel were in the hall as they moved equipment around and the young boy came out of the room in his wheel chair.
Both Squirrel and Gopher waited patiently in the hall getting the “oohs and awws” of passersby. The chair rolled up and both boys were on their game. A few light pats and there it was a smile, albeit brief before they rushed off to surgery. The boys had done their job and the parents were able to see the first smile in sometime on their sons face.