Tonight I went to dinner at the Ronald McDonald room. It’s a homey little place that volunteers come and serve dinner to parents of patients here. It’s a nice setup with comfy chairs and TV and kitchen. It actually feels like you are in someone’s home and not at a hospital. I sat in a chair next to another woman who had arrived at the same time as me. She noticed my PICU badge and asked about my situation. I gave her the rundown and then asked about hers. Turns out she is the mother of that 5 year old girl who was shot in the head almost two weeks ago. I remember seeing their story on the news and how my heart went out to them. She told me that her daughter has been stable but unconscious still, and they are just waiting for her to wake up on her own. She’s been showing many improvements in her motor skills despite being unconscious. She will reach and “investigate” the brace on her neck with her hands and responds to some external stimulation. She actually said they were hoping to get moved to the rehab floor next week.

We both talked about how life can just turn upside down in a split second. It was comforting to talk with another mom in a similar situation (even though so different, the feelings are the same). My heart just hurt for her because they’ve been here in the PICU for 11 days, just waiting and waiting. We’ve only been here three. I cannot imagine her pain. But she was so hopeful at the same time. It was a good reality check for me to remember that we are not the only ones suffering, and also good to talk with someone else who’s been through all the ups and downs and crazy emotions that come with having a child in such critical condition.

We both finished our dinners and then left each other with the best wishes and said we would keep praying for each other’s children. I was so thankful that Ronnie told me to go over there for dinner tonight. It was a meeting that I’ll never forget.

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