Room to Breathe: Mohammed One Day Post-Op

If you've never stepped foot inside an Intensive Care Unit, you must know that the general environment can be quite a shock to the senses. Everything about is unnatural, from the cacophony of machines beeping to any variety of tube and wire, spinning webs around each bed. Children who should be laughing and running about, lay confined to gurneys. Yet, there is also something sacred about this place, where life hangs in the balance for better or for worse. And while I have been a nurse for several years, the sight of a child I know and love newly recovering from heart surgery is no less than striking.

Today, this child was Mohammed. The last time I saw him, his eyes sparkled above a mischievous grin. Now one day post-op, his eyes fluttered open and closed again, moaning softly. A white gauze covered the fresh incision on his chest. His mother kept faithful vigil beside her only son, waiting for opportunities to care for him. Just a few short hours prior, Dr. Alona had performed an echo that showed wonderful results. None of the concerns from yesterday's report, including an aortic valve leak, were present today. In fact, Dr. Alona said Mohammed's heart looks perfect and that he doesn't need any further surgery. They also took him off of mechanical ventilation, requiring only minimal oxygen through a mask. His mother's face shone as I shared the good news with her. Tears of joy filled her eyes as she raised her hands in praise to God. It was beautiful to see her burden lifted.

Though Mohammed was still semi-sedated with analgesia, he woke up long enough to drink small sips of water from a syringe. He was so thirsty that at one point, he looked up at me a little perturbed and asked for a glass of water. He probably could have gulped several glasses in a minute if we had let him. But in order not to upset his stomach, I tried to explain that he needed to go slowly. Having his mother near quieted his anxieties, and he was soon at rest. I believe the Lord heard our prayers for Mohammed and is healing him as only He can. Amidst the keen sobriety of the ICU, the peace of God was profoundly felt. Looking from mother to son in light of this peace, I would say they both have room to breathe.

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