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To the Parent on the Other Side of the Treatment Room Door

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Editor's Note

Written by Dona Krystosek, family advocate for Miracle Flights, the nation’s leading medical flight charity. The non-profit organization has been flying sick kids to specialized, distant medical care since 1985. Commercial plane tickets are provided free of charge and as many times as necessary. To date, the organization has provided more than 115,000 free flights to help critically ill children and their families gain access to life-changing medical care.

Sitting with my son as he receives his IV infusion, I can hear the cries of your young child on the other side of the closed door of the treatment room. I did not see your child before she was brought into the treatment room, but now as I hear her cries, I can only imagine the face you see right now, as you sit at her bedside in the treatment room. I imagine there are tears running down her precious face and perhaps some running down yours, too. Please know my heart is hurting with yours right now. I am a mother of a chronically ill child. I’ve been where you are right now with my son.

At this moment, I imagine you want nothing more than for the nurses to get the lab work or IV started in just one stick. You want your child to hold still so not to accidentally pull out the catheter once they gain access. They could probably use an extra set of hands to hold her down, but if you are like me, you might not want to be the one holding her down. And I think you should not have to be the one holding her down, anyway. I imagine you wish you could trade places with your daughter, to take her pain away. I know; I’ve been there. You might be hoping that with all she faces medically, these will not be the moments she remembers in life. You might hope that last weekend’s family picnic or play-date — or some other happy moment — stands out greater than this turbulent one. It will, Mom. She will remember you always being there for her and you always holding her hand. The good times will shine more than these hard days. I promise.

I want to commend you for doing a great job. Choosing to stay at her bedside when it would be much easier for you to leave the room and not come back until the nurses get that IV started. But I know you were not given a choice to be the mother of a sick child. This situation fell into your life, and you are facing your situation head on. I want you to know you are not alone. Right now, you may feel the weight of the world. Please know that on the other side of that closed door, I am rooting for you! I hope you can feel my strength and the good vibes I am sending you.

Hang in there, Mom! This moment will pass. They will get that IV started. Your hugs and kisses will put a smile on her precious face very soon. If a mother’s love could heal, there would be no sick children in this world. I know you were not given a choice. Just as I was not given a choice to mother a sick child.

As parents of children with health issues, all we can do is support each other and let each other know that we have all been on the other side of that treatment room door.

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Getty image by Sasiistock

Originally published: April 9, 2018
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