Our youngest patient today was 6-year-old Franco. We were lucky enough to meet Franco on Sunday, and have been looking forward to seeing him all week. All of the patients the team has seen this week are special, but this child captured everyone's heart with his beautiful eyes and timid smile.
He seemed pretty calm in the Pre-Op room, and one of the PACU nurses came in with a few Matchbox cars to distract him a little bit. His mother was at his side, and he didn't seem scared at all. Everyone assured him that it would be a short and easy procedure. To make him feel a little bit more at ease, the nurses and staff threw him a little parade of sorts as he was wheeled into the OR. He looked so incredibly happy as he walked down the hall.
Dr. Foss was able to easily sedate him for the procedure by telling him to breathe as if he were blowing up a big balloon. Dr. Pogo performed the procedure, and Franco was soon back with his biggest fans in the PACU.
As he woke up, his mother was ushered in, and we were able to capture a sweet and tender moment of a mother comforting her child. Franco quickly fell back asleep, and I was able to chat with his mother a bit.
She told me that she is a teller at a bank in Guatemala City. She had asked for time off from work to travel to Antigua to get Franco the treatment that he needed. She said she would need to be back at work the next day, and was concerned about staying overnight with Franco. I asked about her husband, and she told me that he had passed away last year. Besides Franco and his wife, the father also left behind their 1-year-old little girl.
Franco's mother is blessed with the support of her in-laws. They traveled with her so that Franco could receive the tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy that he needed. When I asked her how she had heard about Faith In Practice, she said that her sister in law (married to her late husband's brother) had told her about the organization. The sister in-law had the exact same procedure a few year's back.
And, indeed, God has perfect timing. Franco was the only patient in the PACU so he had everyone's attention and care. Immediately afer he left, several adult patients were moved into the PACU, and that would have certainly made Franco more anxious than he already was.
As Franco was moved from the PACU to the convalescent ward, the nurses all showered him with love and gifts donated from people back in Texas, and items that the nurses brought with them. He definitely captured everyone's heart today, and we coined him the "Community Baby."