One of my daughter's friends is in Pediatric Intensive Care. She was in a car accident on Christmas Eve. Her dad was working late on Christmas Eve. He got a call that his family was involved in a minor "fender bender." He shows up at Ruby Memorial (a major trauma center 3 hours from our town) three of his family members are unconscious with major head trauma and his little four year old daughter was close to death. For the first 36 hours, he said his little Emma was "touch and go."
Emma is now in stable condition. She's breathing by herself. She's got a "brain bleed". I saw her move all her limbs, but her Mom said they are very worried about her left side. She's making some eye movement. But it's mostly a task of "wait and see" this week.
It was a great grace to get to see her on December 30. My husband drove all five of us 6 hours in the snow. I was so proud of my five year old daughter. After my husband and I had both visited the family, she asked to see her friend. She was so scared. I held her up to the hospital bed and we said a Hail Mary together. I was ready to take her out of the hospital room as soon as we finished.
As I started to leave, it was like a dam broke. Maria said "I got a piano for Christmas." My daughter suddenly started talking to her friend about her Christmas presents like they were in our Church Social Hall, instead in a PICU room. She happily chatted about her new Barbie pool and her new pink Furby.
I could see Emma's parents start to relax in a way that hadn't happened during my solo visit. Then this amazing thing happened. Little Emma started moving her tongue, I could tell that she wanted to talk. It was so reassuring. I just thought "Praise God, there is language there!"
Emma's parents talked about Emma's new Malibu Barbie and their hopes that Physical Therapy would lead to Emma taking Swimming Lessons on the Swim Team with my Maria Summer. Emma's Dad asked if Emma could have a "Barbie Pool play date" when they got home. My Maria said "sure."
We walked out of the PICU room holding hands. Once we left the hallway, I made sure that Maria and I said another Hail Mary for her friend.
I looked at my girl like she was an Olympic Athlete. That was insane, right? That a five year old can walk in and pray and chat comfortably with a friend--who to my eyes looked mostly unconscious-- and leave an amazing feeling of encouragement to two parents carrying an amazingly hard cross. My Maria made a hospital visit look easy.
"We're you scared?" I asked.
"Yes," she said. "But then I remembered something."
"I remembered that she was still my friend, even in that scary doctor place."
Please pray for little Emma. Her parents, James and Maureen and her siblings, Daniel and Amanda.