Health care can be a wall of tests, charts and jargon. But Suzette Stone has seen how important the human connection can be.
It was a routine morning with the hustle and bustle of caring for hospitalized children. The children under our care are complex and require a lengthy hospital stay, usually greater than two months. One child had been in the hospital close to a year. She was beautiful, strong, and courageous. She was an artist and creative soul and often her room was filled with the colors of a creative process.
Over time, there was less activity and she became quiet and withdrawn. Her precocious witty humor was replaced by silence. An extended hospital stays has a way of zapping and concealing one’s shine.
As our team entered her room this particular afternoon, the room was quiet and still. The shutters were partially open and the dim sunlight was the only light. There were machines and monitors invading this space and serving as a reminder. The family was hospitable and had excellent questions.
As our team presented the daily list of results and treatments, the lead physician focused solely on connecting with the child. This world renowned physician, meekly and softly began speaking in Italian to her, as she gently stroked her hand. The child became animated and engaged as the two shared a common native language and created their own world. It was, as if speaking in Italian, they were transported to a familiar, warm, and welcoming place. Everyone in the periphery of the room became still and witnessed the sacredness of human connection. While others had attempted to connect, it was this communion of language and culture where resilience occurred.