I can only be on the internet for a minute or two, so I must make this quick.
There's just one story I want to share...
So, I cried my eyes out for most of the day... My father is just so incredible. He did a very risky surgery yesterday, one they usually don't do. We all met Brian on the first day of screening. He had the worst cleft lip I had ever seen, but was so joyful and loving. His beauty was radiant and he was such a light, despite his sever deformity. I admire kids like Brian... Come surgery day, my father did both cleft palate and cleft lip surgery at the same time, giving Brian the chance to speak for the first time in his life. Actually, his last chance to speak, ever. The reason doing both the palate and the lip at the same time is so uncommon is because there are so many complications. Not just with the extended period of time on the operating room table, but cleft palate surgery is so extensive and complicated ... Nevertheless, the surgery went great! So today, my dad and I visited Brian in post op to see how he was recovering. When he saw my dad, he immediately started dancing. My emotions instantly began fluttering. When my dad held a mirror to Brian's face to show him what he looked like, Brian slowly looked into the mirror and then gazed up at my father, he was speechless. I was desperately trying to hold back the torrent of tears that were begging to come out. From the moment they met, they had such a beautiful connection... Brian was getting released today so my dad had to say goodbye, but he could only stay a few minutes because he had to get to the OR. He is always so connected to his patients and saying goodbye is such an emotional thing for him. He has changed these kids lives forever and knows he will never see them again, but a part of him will always be with them. So when the time came, my dad put his hands around Brian's face, looked into his eyes and said 'I love you'. The boy looked back at him and stared for a few moments. It was the most incredible moment I've ever experienced. I left the post op and sat in the hallway and cried for about 20 minutes. An older nurse I have bonded with on the mission saw me... she held me tightly and cried even harder. We both were sitting there crying. I have never felt more love flowing through my soul in my entire life. I am forever changed.
Life is beautiful. This world is so beautiful.