John Doe came to our hospital again today. Auto v ped.
John has visited us many times in the past. On this visit he was between 7 & 10 years old.
He was also alone.
No one should be alone in a hospital. Especially a child.
This is not the first time that young John Doe has come to our hospital. But this was one of those times. He was that John Doe – one of those patients who strikes deeply into your heart. I knew immediately that this John Doe would be with me for a very, very long time.
I stayed with John for quite a while on this his most recent visit. Sitting vigil beside his bed, I spoke with him. I apologized for not knowing his first name as I caressed his shoulder. I assured him that I would not leave him alone, explaining that we were doing all we could to get in touch with his family.
Then new information came in about them. I didn’t tell him that his two siblings had died, or that his mom was in critical condition at an adult hospital.
In the structure of my faith, John was below the age of accountability – that age when he would be responsible for the life-decisions he would make that would affect the state of his eternal soul. This was also the faith of John’s mom. She and her 3 young children were doing a fund-raiser for their church when a motor vehicle jumped the curb and hit them.
Medicine really doesn’t know whether a person can think or feel emotions when the brain has suffered an injury as devastating as John’s. So when speaking with him, I told John that since he couldn’t communicate with those of us around his bed that he should call out to Jesus. Jesus would be able to communicate with him.
I wonder if I was comforting myself also.
After he was pronounced on this visit I sighed deeply. Sadly, I knew that John Doe would soon return to visit us again.