Most of you know that before we came to Mercy Ships, we were foster parents. We had two adorable bonus kiddos that still hold a huge part of our heart and always will. One of our kids had autism and they had both dealt with way more trauma than anyone should. So, we had our fair share of therapy evaluations and appointments. Physical, Occupational, Speech, Nutritional, Pschoanalysis something, and many other things I can’t spell. Because of the “system” we had to change therapists many times, so we have met many therapists. Let me tell you, I love all of them. Seeing the progress and change in our kiddo over the long haul was amazing.
As part of my job on the ship, I walk in and out of our hospital wards many times a day, up and down the halls gathering information and taking pictures. Also in those halls are our therapists. Physio therapists, Occupational therapists, and right next to me in the office are our dieticians who also do speech therapy. If I had not spent some time in therapy sessions, I wouldn’t really get why they are so necessary. Acutally, many times it looks like they are just playing silly games. But I get it. The surgeons cut the bones and the skin and sew it back in place. The anesthesiologists
look cute and do magic tricks keep the patients alive during surgery. The nurses take care of them during and after surgery. And the therapists, work one small step at a time to help the patient be able to walk, or raise their arms, or other things I know nothing about. It’s not instant gratification, and they deal with lots of screaming and fears. But they persistently take one small step at a time with our patients, and encourage and coach them to take that step.
The other day, I saw a patient in the hallway whom we have gotten to know over the last few months. She is from Nigeria, so she speaks perfect English and is especially kind to Brandon. I looked down and noticed her casts were off! Her mom was standing behind her crying. She just kept whispering over and over “I’m just so happy.” She said she’s been in a wheelchair for 8 years and now she was taking her first steps without her casts. The patient and her mom were both in tears, and as I looked at the therapist, her eyes were wet and twinkly.
I say it all the time, but this place is a beautiful picture of the body of Christ. Thank you for making it possible for us to be here.