A MESSAGE FROM MOM: Ending up in the emergency room on this trip was really no surprise. This was during Sarah's really sick years. In truth, my husband and I thought this might be the last time Sarah saw her Florida family. What was shocking though was the attending physician. I had been in the emergency room so many times with Sarah that I knew exactly what needed to be done. Most of the time, the medical professionals listened to our abbreviated version of the story, checked her vitals and when they matched what I was describing, they just implemented the necessary medications and oxygen. This doctor did just that. During the few hours we waited for her O2 sats and breathing to stabilize, the doctor kept coming over and asking me questions, good questions. Being Christmas day, the ER was pretty quiet, so I initially just figured he was passing time. Then he started asking more basic questions about Down syndrome. Finally I asked him, "Have you ever had a patient with Down syndrome before?" Not only had he not had a patient, he had never met a live person with T21. Imagine that.
Sarah was dehydrated, so we decided that the best thing was to transfer her to the pediatric floor to run in a good 24 hours of IV fluid. There was only one other patient on the entire floor that day, so I was happy to just lay back and read the good book that I brought. Midway through the afternoon, I hear footsteps outside our door. It is the doctor from the emergency room. He has his lunch with him and asks if I mind if he eat with us. Sure I'd love the company I tell him. We start to chat small talk and then he says to me, would you mind telling me more about Down syndrome. I share everything I knew up to this point. Soon, I hear the "ho,ho,ho" of Santa out in the hall. The doctor excuses himself and off he goes. I think to myself, was our hospital stay By Chance or By Design? I wish I had written that doctors name down so I could call him today. I bet sometime in the years following, a child with Down syndrome presented in the ER for the first time with a mom that was new to this journey. Because of Sarah, he had a little bit more information to go on and for me that's the best Christmas present that year.