Pam Pardy Ghent: Strength When Needed

I’ve been blessed – or simply lucky – to have healthy kids, but trust me, that fact isn’t something I ever take for granted. Still, even with great luck and wholesome genetics, even the healthiest children sometimes need tender loving care from the experts.

We lived in Ontario for a while, and when Brody was around two years-old we came home to Newfoundland for a visit. Brody – chasing his older cousins –  scampered up to the top of a bunk-bed. In a hurry to get down, he slipped and his little arm became trapped between two rungs of the ladder. SNAP! Mom had a family party planned in honour of our visit and instead of enjoying our extended family meet and greet, mom and I spent the evening with Brody at the old Janeway hospital.

‘I Broke Our Baby’

While I was pretty stressed – I remember calling Blair back at home while crying; ‘I’m sorry! I broke our baby!” – the staff there knew what to do. I can’t imagine it’s easy to set the arm of a busy toddler, or deal with a frantic guilt-ridden mother, however my most vivid memories of that evening are mostly pleasant. The thing that stands out for me now is how Brody got to pick the colour of his cast and how excited he was to have a “blue arm.” 

While Elia has escaped (so far, knock on wood) any bone breakages, there have been a few times when having the experts around made life so much easier.

Just a few weeks back, a spike in temperature had me calling Eastern Health’s Health Line. When you’re not sure if you should be letting them rest or be rushing off to the Janeway, it’s nice to have that voice of reason on the other end of the phone helping you navigate the very scary world of a child’s illness. 

And again, I know we’re lucky and blessed. My late brother’s son seems to be taking after his dad in a way we wished he didn’t. At just 17 months-old my nephew has had more than his share of hospital visits. Asthma and allergies and all the terrors associated with those illnesses have made life very stressful for  his worried momma. A week of good health for Kyson is a reason to celebrate.

Care & Kindness

We don’t need to look far to find a family affected by a child’s health. A friend of mine is waiting for a surgery date for her son who is the same age as Elia. While it’s nothing life threatening, as a mom, I get it; just knowing your child needs allergy testing can feel like a journey too ominous to navigate without help. When they must face a scalpel? That’s almost unfathomable. 

That’s why having the Janeway and its caring staff around is so critically important. With care and kindness, parents go from fearing the unknown to feeling like the informed can-face-anything warriors their children need around them while ill. 

I know I can never thank the Janeway staff enough who, on a late night almost 19 years ago, provided the strength required so I could show my child the love and comfort he needed. They turned me from a crying “I broke our baby” mess to the fierce mommy of a blue-armed casted bandit who was ready to once again climb a ladder to the top of his cousin’s bunk-bed. And that’s worth counting your blessings for.

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