Monday, August 3, 2015

Another Glimpse Into the Critical Care Unit

Two of our Summer Staffers have written this post to give you a precious glimpse into our CCU.

As two Second Year Nursing students from Ireland, Amy and I (Jenny) had hoped that we could put our medical knowledge into practice whilst working at the Critical Care Unit (CCU) here at New Day Foster Home.  It has been a blessing to play a part in this amazing and eye-opening experience.

During our time spent in the CCU, we were able to feed, play and monitor the progress of each child. Due to infection control policies, we were among just a few people allowed to interact with these children; what a privilege!

The CCU is a bright, colorful room with a door connecting this room to their bedroom.  There are currently four children: Connie, Maggie, Ella and Tim.  They each have their own unique personalities and cute quirks.  For example if you put your head close to Connie’s she’ll lean forward and rest her forehead against yours for a while with that big grin which nearly makes her eyes disappear.  Maggie is so content to just lie on the floor with her legs up by her ears saying “Dada Dada” staring up at the nannies with those massive dark drown eyes.  Ella sometimes smiles when the nannies carefully fix her silky straight black hair.  Tim has these occasional moments in the day where he lets out this quick smile when he is being held or if you stroke his face.

Due to the high ratio of nannies to children in the CCU, we developed a close relationship with each of them; even with a language barrier!  We witnessed the outstanding affection they pour out onto these severely ill and recovering children, an amazing thing to experience.

The nannies were so relaxed with the kids and as a result, the kids felt really safe and comfortable around them. One of our favorite things about these nannies was their creativity in coming up with ways to entertain the children!  They juggled some balls one day which made the Connie and Maggie giggle at each other.  We brought some bubbles with us and blew some for them- they were fascinated and loved them!  This form of entertainment helped them to exercise and stretch their arms by reaching out to touch the bubbles.  It also enabled them to practice blowing, showing that exercising doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive, it’s all about creative thinking.

The nannies were aware and active in encouraging the kids to continue to develop their motor skills.  For example they encouraged Connie to crawl towards them by clapping their hands and opening their arms while she was sitting. This constant encouragement must have worked because on the last day of our time here, she effortlessly decided to crawl towards all the toys.  We were overjoyed to see her coming out of her shell after her extensive time in hospital.

Over our month of volunteering here, we have noticed huge developmental changes in these children- a truly encouraging and humbling sight.  We have watched Tim gain weight and appear more active, Connie has smiled without ceasing and, as we’ve mentioned before, she has started to crawl (it must be that increased appetite!).  Ella has shown signs of alertness with a few smiles when being pampered and Maggie is always on the go-whether it’s crawling, rolling around or grabbing those incredibly long legs; She will be an amazing dancer or sports star, possibly both!

To have had a glimpse into these incredible children’s lives has exceeded both of our expectations.  It blows our minds to try to comprehend the fact that these children have been fighting for their lives from day one, we thank God for these little living miracles.

Altogether it was a wonderful privilege to learn, spend time with and fall in love with these precious children, who were once deemed ‘hopeless’. 

A big thank you to Jenny and Amy for coming to serve at New Day Foster Home this summer!

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