Being at a children’s hospital is a frightening and worrying experience for any parent. It’s the last place you would like to be, especially when your child needsto be there. No parent likes to see their child go through procedures and operations, and Ali Cummins is no different.
Three years ago, she was sitting in the waiting room at her local children’s hospital. Her baby daughter Ceci, who was just 3-months-old, needed an ECHO (echocardiogram) done on her heart. It was her worst nightmare, and as much as she tried to convince herself it wasn’t real, it was.
When a nurse named Mike called for her daughter’s name, Ali panicked. It was finally time for her daughter’s procedure, and she could hardly bear it. To make matters worse, Ceci began to cry uncontrollably and nothing Ali did would stop her.
But then Mike did something that completely took Ali by surprise. In fact, she burst into tears when she saw it.
Read on to see what Mike does. By the end of this, I was in tears…
The Facebook post reads:
Three years ago, I was in unfamiliar territory. A small room. White walls. An exam table and a plethora of machines, none of which I knew the purpose of.
My oldest daughter –unaware of what we were facing — was singing; her voice bounced off the stale walls. My husband quietly sat in the corner. My youngest daughter — just 3 months old — was pressed close against me, her warm skin resting next to mine. And although I was completely aware of my surroundings, I was a million miles away.
I was in a place where x-rays and lab work don’t exist. A place where EKG’s and karyotypes are foreign words. A different place, a safer, more comfortable and more peaceful spot.
I told myself this wasn’t happening. I was not at a children’s hospital. I was not preparing to meet with a cardiologist. This wasn’t my life. This wasn’t our life.
My thoughts were disrupted, and I was jolted back to reality by the sound of footsteps and a creaking door.
A man in blue stands in front of me. “I’m here for Miss Cecilia,” he says with a smile as he motioned towards the baby in my arms. I took a deep breath and tried to prepare myself mentally and emotionally for whatever was to come next.
The man ushered us into the room where he would perform the ECHO. “I’m Mike,” he said with another smile. Half-heartedly, I introduced myself and my family.
As Mike took Ceci out of my arms, she began to whimper, and as he laid her on the table for her ultrasound, she began to cry. My heart raced while Ceci’s cry continued to grow in intensity. Nothing I tried stopped her tears, and this just reminded me of the fact that there was nothing I could do to heal her either.
And then, something unexpected happened.
Mike, bent down next to Cecilia, and in a soft voice, he began to sing: “The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round.” Ceci’s cry stops. “All through the town,” he cooed sweetly, and Ceci smiled. Her blue eyes were transfixed on him, and he looked lovingly back at her. While Mike sang, I cried.
This was my reality.
My child was at the cardiologist; my child was having an ECHO done on her heart. I was standing in a children’s hospital. And amid all of these unhappy things, I was witnessing the most beautiful thing ever: someone loving my child. A complete stranger treating my child with unimaginable kindness.
For the rest of the procedure, Mike sang to Ceci. He talked softly to her. He treated her with the kindness that all people should experience, but rarely do.
What I saw that day wasn’t just good bedside manner. It wasn’t just good medicine. I saw compassion and empathy and love.
About halfway through the ultrasound, I glanced down at Ceci. Her tiny hand was wrapped tightly around one of Mike’s fingers. As the ECHO came to an end, she didn’t want to let go, and I understood why. Because people like Mike are one in a million.
Three years later, whenever we are at the hospital, Mike stops by to see Ceci and to sing a rather impressive rendition of “The Wheels on the Bus.”
Mike, thank you for loving my child. Thank you for showing me that kindness is all around me. Thank you for teaching me that even in our darkest moments, there’s beauty and comfort to be found.
After reading this, I’m in complete tears. Mike, and all other nurses, doctors, and medical staff in the world are beautiful people with loving hearts.
Please SHARE this mother’s touching experience with everyone you know. Let’s honor our nurses, doctors, and medical staff by recognizing them for their actions!