People often ask Anna how she can go to the hospital each weekend and volunteer on the Children’s Wing. She replies with a compassionate look and says, “How can I not.”
Her answer is not a question, but a simple answer to a hard question. Who better than her to walk the halls that she once paced with ringing hands and tear stained cheeks? Her mission is born from an uncomplicated and selfless drive; to bring HOPE.
“Little hands and little feet need the healing love that only God can meet.” Anna read the handwritten note as she attached it to the yellow booties before entering Room 304.
With her head bowed, she prayed silently in the hall just outside the door. The nurses had already prepared her and lovingly warned her not to enter, “It will be too painful for you, Anna. Let the shift nurse deliver for you today to Room 304.”
Anna’s prayer was one that she prayed herself just over three years ago. “Dearest Father in heaven please put your healing hands around this tiny baby. Listen to his heart and breathe into his soul your breath of life. I pray you do not take him into your kingdom today but if you do, please be with his mother and father and help them to understand your will. Amen.”
She pushed open the door slowly and paused. She could hear the monitor’s steady beep and the mother’s steady sobs. Anna fought back the tears and prayed for strength. As she pushed the door fully open she saw the baby’s tiny body in the crib. The hoses and tubes hooked up to his frail frame were larger than him. In the corner was his mother sitting in a chair. Her legs were drawn up to her chin and her head was buried into her knees. Anna knew that the doctor’s had only given this child a couple more days to survive and that was yesterday. The nurses had also told Anna that the mother had never held her baby. His illness was too extreme and there could be no risk of endangering his frail body.
Feeling a presence in the room, the mother looked up. Her face said it all. She had given up completely and Anna knew that feeling all too well. Her baby was taken to heaven at only four days old. Like this mother, Anna never held her baby until was too late. She knew she couldn’t let that happen to this mother.
On bent knees, Anna crouched down in front of the mother and took her hands in her own. “My name is Anna and I have been where you are right now. If it’s okay with you, I’d like to do something for you that I should have done myself.”
Anna stood up and lifted the mother to her feet. She led her to the bed and dropped the rails. With a push of the nurse call button, Anna said, “We’re ready.”
Seconds later a nurse entered and dropped the other bed rail. She disconnected the tubes and hoses that were attached to the tiny child. Anna picked up the baby gently and turned to face his mother.
“Your baby needs you to hold him while I put on his booties.”
The mother took her baby and held him close but fearfully. Her tears ran down in huge drops on his bare chest. His brown eyes opened and looked at her as Anna slid the booties on his pale feet. A look came across the baby’s face of uncertainty and then the tiniest of sneezes came from him, “Achoo!”
Startled, his legs and arms shot out from him and he began to cry. Anna looked at the nurse but she was already out the door calling for the doctor. This sneeze and crying was not a cause for alarm but a cause for joy. This little child had never made a sound and now here he was in his mother’s arms wailing and being comforted.
A month later Anna went back to Room 304 to help the mother and her healthy baby boy nick-named Achoo to go home. The doctor said that only a miracle from God healed Achoo that day.
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