Ammaarah was hospitalized recently because she fell ill with broncho-pneumonia, which was caused by RSV (respiratory syncytial virus). The time spent in hospital with my little girl reminded me of how blessed we were, and how thankful I constantly need to be to the Almighty for my countless blessings. Even though it was absolutely terrifying being in hospital as Ammaarah was really sick, I could not imagine how much more scary it was for the other parents in the hospital ward.
There were three other patients in hospital and all of their medical situations were far worse than Ammaarah’s. Once I got to know each of them and their cases, I felt extremely guilty for hospitalising my little one with what seemed like a simple virus in comparison. My heart absolutely broke for those parents and their struggles.
Patient #1 was a precious little girl who was 7 months old. She was born with down syndrome and currently weighed only 3.5kgs. To put this into context for my readers who do not know about the weight of babies, Ammaarah weighed 3.6kgs when she was born, this little girl was 7 months old! Her body lacked an enzyme which resulted in the inhibition of her body to absorb any nutrition. She was therefore unable to pick up weight and was being fed through a tube that had been inserted directly into her little tummy. She is constantly in and out of hospital and as a result, ‘the hospital had become her second home’. We were in hospital for 4 days, and throughout the entire stay, I cannot remember this little girls mommy holding her!
Patient #2 was a 7 month old little boy. He weighed 3.4kgs and lost half his body weight within the month preceding our stay in hospital. For some reason, he could not keep any food in his tummy and would throw up after every meal. He had been in hospital for a month already, being fed through a tube, inserted through his nose into his tummy, while the doctors tried to figure out what was wrong. The day before we were discharged, they discovered that he had a growth in his tummy, which inhibited the absorption of any food. An operation was required immediately and I do not know what the outcome was.
Patient #3 was a beautiful 8-year-old princess. She too was in hospital for a respiratory virus, but she has cancer. She started her journey with being diagnosed with kidney cancer, but the cancer unfortunately spread throughout her entire body. There is apparently nothing more the doctors can do and she was declared terminally ill. In the early hours of the morning of one of the days we were in hospital, she woke up crying. Her father took a bit of time to calm her down, and after about 15 minutes, she finally screamed “it smells like Red Cross, I hate Red Cross, I don’t want to go to Red Cross”! She was referring to the Red Cross Children’s Hospital. My heart was immediately taken over by sadness and I could not help but cry.
How selfish was it for me to feel depressed about my little girl who had, in plain terms, a chest infection, when there were so many others around me with bigger problems. I mean, I cannot imagine how it must feel to have a hospital to be your second home. I cannot imagine how those parents were stressing about their baby who lost weight so quickly and just kept throwing up. And I cannot imagine what it must be like to see and hear your baby girl in pain and knowing that there is nothing that you can do for her!
I truly gained strength from those parents as I watched them be a pillar of strength for their children. My time in hospital was an enlightening experience. I was reminded about the countless reasons I have to be thankful and grateful to the Almighty for all my blessings. I was reminded to always look for the positive in any bad situation. I was reminded that no matter how bad things may be, they are never as bad as the appear to be. And most of all, I was reminded that I need to rely on the Almighty to help me through all situations, good or bad.
Ammaarah has fully recovered and is back to her normal self again. I thank the Almighty for yet another blessing!