The Ultimate Expression of Gratitude

As we give thanks I wanted to share this quick story.  Last year this beautiful strong girl was brought in by her father.  She had been severely burned on her leg and stomach.  The scar tissue on her leg had so severely contracted that she could no longer extend her leg.  It was permanently in the bent position making it incredibly difficult to walk and impossible to run.  We told her father that we would be happy to try to help her by removing the scar tissue the best we could and reorienting the position of the scars.  We told him that it may help but it may also make it worse depending on how it healed.  The father looked at the daughter and asked what she wanted to do.  With great conviction she affirmed that she wanted to try.  Surgery was long as we removed the scar tissue, reoriented the scar lines, and finally skin grafted the defects.  Surgery went well but only time would tell.  We left the next day not knowing if we had done her a service or condemned her to a life of difficulty. 

Fast forward now to last month.  We arrived at the hospital early to get a jump on the cases that day.  I left the operating room to check on my patients in the wards.  From the corner of my eye walking up the road I saw this kind father and this brave girl.  My heart immediately sank as all of my anxieties about her case came rushing back.  I quickly began to walk to her desperate to see how she was walking.  My heart exploded with joy as I saw each perfectly placed step followed by another.  She saw me and began to run towards me.  I could not control my emotions as I felt pure gratitude. 

Remembering they had come from a great distance at significant personal expense I asked her father if the surgery needed to be revised or if there was another problem they needed addressed.  He looked confused by my question.  He said “We do not need anything Doctor Dayne we have simply come to tell you and your team thank you.” May we all remember to give thanks in all things. 


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