Giving Back A New Tomorrow

November 23, 2016
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The child beams at me, his pure eyes brimming with life, clueless about what will happen tomorrow, or the day after that, or the next fifty years from now. I outstretch my arms and he races towards me, his tiny arms around my knees. I’ve become accustomed to this now, I tickle him, play with him, quickly place the shot, and award him a sticker once the task is over. His mother taps his shoulder and rubs his little head, a gesture to go home.
After this child leaves, I prepare to move on to my next patient. “Come in.”  I say brightly. A young girl walks in, shadowing behind her mother, clutching her mother’s skirt tightly. “Hi.” No response. Her mother pushes her forward, and she walks towards me, her eyes filled with scorn when she perceives that her mother has just abandoned her. Her tightly woven braids, clean face, and prim clothes do not hide the fact that her young eyes carry a parasite of her past, her shaken body no longer holds the same purity and innocence of a child. I already know this child is going to be a difficult one. I c*** my eyebrow towards her mother questioningly, only receiving the response, “General checkup.” Nevertheless, I obey the mother’s demands.
My hands have always known where and where not to touch but when I place my hands on her tummy, she screams in shock and terror, unleashing the parasite of her past that overwhelmingly consumes. I attempt to calm her with my soothing voice and show her a picture book, keeping her occupied, while decisively wondering if I should let her return to her mother when she returns or take her the village’s city council office near the orphanage.
Coming home from work, I live in the overwhelming fear of being unable to become a contributing role to society that I aspired to be. Will I be able to provide these children a new tomorrow? These little innocent people, who are the world’s hope and future? Am I capable of giving them a new life? Even though these overwhelming thoughts always haunt me, I still love my job, and I always think of my time with the happy, laughing children to aid my stress during work.
I have spent the past fifteen years, running a race to success. Even though, I am now a certified medical doctor, I have betrayed my family’s will to continue to decide for my future, and spent the past six months in Ghana, where I worked with sick children, hoping to fulfill my role as a doctor and provide these kids for a new tomorrow.
After having lunch with the village people, I prepare for my first operation. The young child begs me to hold his hand until he falls asleep. I force myself not to give in to the fear during the entire operation as I cut open his tiny chest. With these tiny metal instruments, I force my hands to be quick and nimble, carefully breaking through the tiny vessels, one after the other, doing essentially the best a human’s hands could do.
After I sew up his chest and clean the equipment, I find his mother waiting in the hall. “How was it?” she asks in her thick accent. I search for the right moment to respond, hoping to conjure up the best way to break the silence. She breaks it for me anyway, “Is he going to live?” Her tone is now more demanding and I am forced to speak. “I’m sorry ma’am, but there wasn’t anything I could do.” The silence seeps into the room, and the woman leaves to see her son. I stand there and question myself, “Was there really nothing I could have done?”

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