The other morning, Ewan woke up at 5am and said, “I wonder how David is doing?”
“David who?” I asked.
“David from Clinic,” he said, as if I had failed to see the obvious. “The one who looks like The Flash.” he replied.
That’s how amazing David is – that a 7 year old going through the toughest phase of treatment, delayed intensification, for acute lymphoblastic leukemia wakes ups and wonders how his friend, David, the person who welcomes him to clinic nearly every day and puts his wrist band on “just right” without having to be reminded, is doing.
David always greets us with an enormous, warm and welcoming smile. It brightens our visits from the very start of check-in at the Cancer and Blood Disorders Clinic front desk. He treats my son as a person, not as patient and we know he listens to our needs. David helpfully finds answers to questions and is always respectful of privacy. Sometimes my son does not feel well, is not cheerful and does not like smiling. David gets it and has a knack for saying the right things at the right time. He is sensitive, sincere, positive and huge-hearted.
Occasionally, we see David floating at other departments’ front desks, so we know he must be a flexible team player, too. He still waves “hi”. The consistency of his friendly face makes our very frequent visits less of a bitter pill to swallow.
My son and I were sad when he was absent for a week. Then, we found out he was away interviewing for medical school; it gave us news to cheer for! David has already proven himself to be an amazing healer of a different sort with his steady presence and compassion. We know we will make a great doctor in the future and hope that Seattle Children’s will be a place that he calls home again when he completes his studies. He has made Seattle Children’s more than a hospital; he has made it a home for us – filled with people that we care about, think about at 5am and look forward to seeing.