Dear Dr. Hendrickson,
Almost a year ago, you walked up to my son’s isolette to explain in detail how sick my boy was and how urgent it was that you open him up and repair him. I don’t really remember the details of what you said, but I remember the way you said it. With care and compassion. I do remember you telling the nurses to let me hold him–the first time I was able to do that–and I knew that you understood that a mother needs to hold her child before he is taken away for life saving surgery. I knew that you knew I needed to touch him and feel his skin against mine, to let his little fingers curl around my pinkie, to burn through bleary, teary eyes his image into my memory. You even asked the nurses to photograph me holding him. As evidence of our physical touch…just in case. I remember asking you to take care of him like he was your own. You told me that it was your greatest privilege and honor to be entrusted with his care. I remember feeling like I might stop breathing as you and your team wheeled him off to the surgical ward and not being able to control my emotions as they wheeled me back to my room. We cried, we prayed, we waited. And a few hours later you excitedly rushed into our room. All smiles. And it felt easier to breathe.
You explained that it had gone well. Exceptionally well. You were able to fix him. It had been a hard job, but you did it. You were so pleased with yourself and your team. Later one of the nurses explained that our son’s surgery was like a “home run.” You were able to make something almost impossible…possible. Our son would live and live well. He had to heal and it would take time, but he was no longer broken. When you left, we cried again and prayed again and rushed to our son’s bedside where we camped out for the next four weeks. We saw you off and on again over the next month, less and less as he got stronger and stronger. When we finally took him home, I wished we could hug you and thank you again. I hope you got one of the brownies we left behind!
It’s been almost a year since we’ve seen you, but when I think of you it is with nothing but complete gratitude. It is obvious that God has gifted you and placed a calling on your life to heal the tiniest of lives. Thank you for being a part of our son’s start to life. May God continue to bless you and lead you in your gifting.