The Cardz for Kidz! staff frequently interact with kids and bond with staff at local hospitals. Even with the hundreds of volunteered hours we have NO where near the potential interaction experience as pediatric doctors. In order to learn more about a different kind of connection we reached out to a pediatric neurologist in northern Ohio, Dr. Chinasa Nwankwo. Here are some of her stories about some of her favorite patients!
“While thinking about the hundreds of patients, I’d have to say one that I’ll always remember is Lora.* Her mom originally brought her to the hospital because she noticed her eyes were bouncing around and she was irritable. She was later admitted and diagnosed with an acute attack of the substance that covers her nerves. We didn’t know what sparked it, but we had to figure out how to stop it and bring back any lost function. She was in the hospital for a couple weeks. During that time she received multiple “scary” treatments. We tried our best to effectively communicate with her mother since there was a language barrier; she strictly spoke Spanish (that’s why we ask for cards in Spanish too!). The only thing they would say in English is ‘hello’. I saw her in follow up over the next six months. Each time I walked in the room, her mother was so grateful and would jump up and provide a hug and kiss. She recovered completely. Working in medicine allows you to make long lasting relationships that are both personal and professional.”
“I remember another one of my favorite patients named Gina*; she was about 16 years old. When I originally met her she came to the hospital for migraines. She was always sweet, funny, and shy and soon started to open up. Her headaches were easy to control so we spent the majority of time chatting and comparing our nail colors. One time she came a bit before our scheduled visit and it was clear that she was down and depressed. Her mom told me she just failed her national exams, was worried about her. I asked her mom why she brought her to me specifically and she said ‘because I know she can talk to you’. I tried to explain that I wasn’t a counselor and could only do so much. But we had a heart to heart, and it was encouraging to chat and bond with them.”
“Every patient that comes into your life comes in for a special purpose. Most often people think it’s for you to do something for them, but more often than not, the patient is the one helping the doctor. “
Everyone knows that patients go to hospitals to get help from doctors. When we think about that “relationship” it seems that clearly it’s more beneficial for the patients. But after hearing how some of the patients can impact the doctors’ lives, we now understand it’s a Win – Win Situation.
*Names changed due to HIPAA privacy regulations.