CLICK HERE FOR THOUSANDS OF FREE BLOGGER TEMPLATES »

Monday, July 7, 2008

scarred.

I'm exhausted -- physically, emotionally, and mentally. I've spent the last 27 hours at the hospital on call. More so than needing sleep, I am heartbroken over what I saw yesterday.

A two year old little girl was brought in by DHS. She has been tortured for the last two years. Luckily an anonymous tip led DHS to her grandparent's house. When asked, the grandparents denied that a child was in the house. After breaking down the door, the police found a tiny, terrified little girl.

Walking into her hospital room, I saw a small, scarred hand sticking out between the bars of the crib. She was curled into a ball, holding onto her left ear with her other hand. Her face was buried in the covers and all I could see were the bandages covering her head and body. Only her legs and arms were exposed. Even her little hands and feet were wrapped in gauze. I decided to let her sleep. God only knows how long it's been since she's really rested.

Returning later, the nurses were struggling to get her blood pressure. It's the first time I saw her face. She has dozens of scars all over her face in all stages of healing. Some look like they've been there a year and others are just forming scabs. She's beautiful, but her eyes were dark and hollow. She stared at me, unsure of whether or not she should trust me. I brought some bubbles with me. After about 5 minutes of blowing bubbles, she reached a timid little finger out and popped a bubble. She still never smiled. I also brought crayons and a coloring book. She watched me color for awhile. I placed a crayon in her hand and she slowly turned it in her fingers. I could tell she wanted to give coloring a try and eventually she reached down and placed the crayon to the paper. We colored for awhile and soon she was handing me colors and babbling at me a little. I had to remind myself that she was two years old. Being severely malnourished, M. is only the size of a one year old. Soon, she was playing with me like any other toddler, but I had to leave to admit a patient. I still never got a smile out of her.

Later that evening, I came back to find her watching Finding Nemo. I could see in her eyes that she recognized me, trusted me and was glad that I was back. We immediately started playing. Once again, the bubbles were a big hit. She was leaning through the rails of her crib following the bubbles to the ground, feeding me crayons and tapping me on the head with her princess wand. We played for about an hour. Her eyes lit up and she was smiling and laughing. She has a perfect little smile. The skin under her left eye dimples a little bit from the scars, but her entire face lights up. When others would come in the room, her demeanor changed and she watched them cautiously until they left. Eventually it was time for me to get back to work. I told her "bye bye" and she immediately pulled herself up and lept into my arms. She wrapped her legs around my waist, her arms around my neck and laid her bandaged little head on my chest. It took all I had not to break down. I stood there, rocking her in my arms for awhile and telling her things I'm sure she's never heard. "You're such a pretty girl, M", "You're safe now", "I love you". I tried once to set her back on her bed and she started whimpering and pulled herself back into my arms. About 10 minutes later the nurse's aid came in and I handed M. over to her.

I fell asleep last night (yes, I actually got a little bit of sleep on call) praying for M. My heart is absolutely broken imagining what this beautiful little girl has been through in the short two years she's been alive. What's even harder to imagine is what is in store for her over the next several months. For now, she's covered in 2nd and 3rd degree burns and badly malnourished. She's safe in the hospital with nurses, doctors and aids who are showering her with a love she's never known. Today, she's wearing her princess outfit that the nurses brought her. But what happens when her burns have turned to scars and she's put on a few lbs?

Please pray for baby M. Pray that God heals her body and her soul. There is a happy, loving little girl in that shell, but it's going to take a lot of love to bring her out.

11 comments:

mrs.leah.maria said...

Erin, I'm so happy that you are in that position. What a blessing you are to M.

Kristal said...

Oh my gosh, this makes me sick to my stomach. That poor girl. But I agree with Leah - you are a blessing to her.

This Is Me said...

I found your bio from G&D and read your post today. How horrific for that little girl, but how wonderfuly she had someone like you.

You and M are in my prayers.

Abby said...

Erin, that story broke my heart!!! I can't believe someone could be so cruel to a helpless baby! I know that God has put you in M's life for a reason!!! You are such a blessing and comfort to her!!

Lindsey said...

That is so sad. I agree with mrs.leah.maria, you are a blessing to M.

kari said...

I have to agree with Leah and Kristal, you are such a blessing to M. My heart hurts for her. God has brought you into her life for a reason. She'll be in my prayers.

threeacres said...

That made me cry! Bless you for all that you are doing to help that poor girl.

Jeremy and Mindy said...

Oh Erin....
I'm crying. My heart seriously just breakes every time I read sometime like this. It's so unfair. My husband works in the mental health field and sees/deals with these type of situations very often. He'll come home and tell me about it, and I just break down, life can be so cruel.
Thank you for reaching out and helping this precious child. It takes people like you to keep this world going. Never quit. It was extrememly beyond your call of duty and that is what makes you an excellent dr. {{{hugs}}}

etxwife said...

This is so sad. You ARE a blessing to M. Give the precious baby lots of hugs from us.

Lisa said...

Wow! What a powerful story. And, what an amazing feeling to know that you have had some small part in her healing process. I will be keeping her in my thoughts and prayers.

Julia said...

Hi, Erin! Thanks for visiting my blog, I think I read yours a long time ago through Kristal's but not lately. Geesh, working in health care is NEVER boring, right? :) Wouldn't trade it for the world, despite the very good and very bad days.

Can't wait to follow your journey.