Every Step is a Victory

July 13, 2010
A little over a year ago I walked through the doors of shriners Children's hospital with an indescribable amount of Anxiety. The next day I would lay on my back on a cold, operating table while the doctors attempted to reconstruct my dead femur. I hobbled through the revolving doors on crutches with my leg like a limp noodle at my side. I was soon greeted by a cheery nurse who greatly resembled a peach. She admitted me to the hospital and introduced me to my roommate Erica, a diplomats daughter from South Africa. As Erica and I walked the halls, painted each others nails, and had a chick flick movie marathon I felt like just like a normal teenager. But one thing stood out in my mind, every child i saw was so broken. Everyone of them had something wrong with them, but yet they all had smiles on their faces. "How could this be ?" I asked myself; can't the see how broken and hurt they are? Those very smiles on the children's faces is what Shriners strive for every day. They help over 5,000 children each year feel at home while operating on their various orthopedic and burn injuries. Shriners have 18 orthopedic centers and 3 burn centers across the united states. Each family who is accepted into shriners is given treatment and meals, for free. When I woke up from surgery , I felt groggy, weighted down, and helpless. The entire lower half of my body was numb, I couldn't feel a thing. My throat was dry and parched and i couldn't speak. A nurse then came over and explained that I had a breathing tube in my throat and she then proceeded to pull it out. I blacked out right as she pulled it out, the blackness surrounded me and pulled me in , I was submerged. When I woke up again I found I had a new stuffed animal and a brand new handmade blanket on my bed . My parents explained that shriners gives every patient a toy and blanket when they come out of surgery.These items that bring so much comfort to children are donated to the hospitals. This is how the hospital works, completely through charitable donations and investments. "We always need more funding and donations,"said public relations personnel at the Salt Lake branch."But somehow we make it all work." The patients are not the only people to benefit from these wonderful hospitals. Another worker at shriners said," A lot of these kids come to us as toddlers and stay with us until they fully recover. We bond with them and build relationships, it's very, very rewarding to see them grow and recover. After my surgery I faced 16 months of intense physical rehabilitation. It was hard but i got through it . I would not be walking if it were not for shriners and true to their slogan " Every Step is a victory."





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