Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Day Before the "Big Day"

This morning we were greeted by Helena's big smile as we entered her hospital room. She immediately asked if we could go out to the playground as promised yesterday, but her fun was cut short when Doctor Isador showed up with Doctor Schaefer to introduce him to Helena and make plans for tomorrow. Helena's big smile quickly turned to tears as mom removed her pants to show the doctors her legs. It was painful for all of us to watch us they manipulated Helena's legs and talked about where they would make cuts and place pins.  Of course the doctors were extremely kind and professional, but I think the experience just made everything more real for all of us. It reminded us that we aren't just all here on a nice vacation from Mwanza, but for a scary but possibly life changing operation for a delicate little girl.
After the doctors left David pulled Helena into his lap and we talked about how we had both had surgeries when we were little. We explained to her how scared we were but how we got better because the doctors were smart and  because we had so many people praying for us. Helena's smile quickly returned when we told her how many people all the way in America are praying for her.
Fortunately the day just got better from there when Helena's new roommate Vivian, a seven year old girl our friends Frank and Karen have been accompanying through her journey to have her clubbed foot repaired, arrived.  The moms seemed very happy to meet each other too and immediately connected like old friends, sharing food and speaking Kihiya ( their shared tribal dialect).  Our hope is that the moms and girls will be great sources of comfort to each other. 
Since tomorrow Helena and Vivian will both be having their operations, we set out to make the rest of the day as fun and worry free as possible. The two new friends started their day off sharing tea and bread, followed by a puppet show with David, then some piggy back rides and playground time and finally a little Snow White. The day was filled with smiles and giggles. It was hard to not think about how difficult the next few days and weeks may be for these two little girls, but knowing that they are hopefully on the way to walking and running makes it all worth it. Please keep Helena and Vivian and their families in your prayers.

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