Horror and Healing
by Jeff Osborne
Hailey's room in the ICU of the Children's Hospital was at the far back corner of the pod. Probably the quietest room in the ICU as there was very little people traffic due to the location. I can't explain to you what it is like to walk down the hallway of the Pediatric ICU every day for weeks. Several times a day I would pass each room and see the children lying in their beds. Some are tiny infants while others are late in their teen years. Each child has a name, each situation has a story, and each set of parents has a combination of pain, fear, faith, disbelief and anxiousness.
Pam and I were standing over Hailey's hospital bed waiting for her to come out of her sleep after her brain surgery. The breathing tube was beginning to bother her as the sedation was wearing off and she began breathing on her own. It was 2:30am, the lights were dim in the hospital room and the Intensive Care Unit was very quiet. Hailey's surgery started at 4:00pm and we were both near exhaustion as we anxiously waited for the breathing tube to be removed to ensure she could breathe on her own. Suddenly the silence was broken by the piercing scream of a horrified mother. It was a different scream, it contained agony and pain. Pam and I looked at each other in horror as we both knew the Angel of Death had arrived. A mother's heart was torn in two. We grabbed one another's hand and prayed for the Lord to comfort this mother, to be very close to this family, and to take this child into His arms. We went back to Hailey's bed and although we did not pray it out loud, our hearts quietly muttered, "And Lord let the Angel of Death pass by this room and not enter here." The nurses walked down the hall after their efforts on the lost child were exhausted. Tears flowed from the one nurse's eyes as she wiped them off with her arm and began typing on the computer. Another child in pain needed attention. There was no time for mourning, she had to gather herself and forge ahead.
How do these people do this day in and day out? Are they the strongest people on the face of the earth? Are they emotionally calloused? I am not sure but I would bet that many of these people sustain themselves through the healings and the victories. The less frequent but ever powerful counter to the horrors and the tragedies. Just as the children's hospital is filled with pain and suffering it is also filled with praising and rejoicing. Parents hearing the soothing words that the tumor is benign. Children opening their eyes and being able to see once again. Calm breathing patterns now that the asthma is back under control. Doctors reporting the surgery went better than expected. X-Rays that were positive, now amazingly are negative - doctors are stunned, a miracle has taken place right before their eyes. The boy with only a 1% chance of survival lives. The little girl thought to be paralyzed moves her toes, then her fingers, and before the night is over she hugs her Daddy as tears of joy stream down his face.
A camel stores essential water in his body for weeks at a time, as he wanders through the dry and barren desert. Similarly, these amazing people, who serve sick and hurting children, live off the hope that today may be the day a miracle wanders down from heaven and lands in their midst.
God is in the miracle business. If you do not believe then I suggest you DO NOT ENTER. Stay outside where it is safe. Where you are able to shelter yourself from the reality of the pain taking place just inside those hospital doors. For those who believe in miracles, keep your heart filled with hope and your eyes fixed on the Miracle Maker...He is alive and well.