Life and Death at a Childrens Hospital

We delivered this month’s meal to the Pediatric ICU at a bad time. There was a small group of people at one end of the unit and we could hear the raw emotion that only comes from loss. Doctors who normally greet us with a smile barely acknowledged our presence, and veteran PICU nurses had tears in their eyes. Both of Jen’s Nurse Practitioners were there, and both gave extra-long hugs. The mood on the third floor was somber as well. It was a brutal reminder of the reality of life and death in a Childrens Hospital, the stress and pain endured by the families, and the unfairness of all of it. These children fight so hard for their chance to live, and they should all win – they just should. It was also a reminder of how special the people who work in these units are. This is tough, tough duty for them. I’m sure their training teaches them to be professional, but as people, who are in close contact for weeks and months with these children and their families, they are clearly affected. Those who dedicate their lives and careers to these children are very special indeed.

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