One of my favorite duties at the first conference on Building Children’s Nursing for Africa
last month was interviewing a panel of three mothers of children with special needs who
are cared for at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital in Cape Town. They talked like nurses
with full understanding of complex conditions, procedures, and medical jargon. I asked
them, “Thinking back on your experiences in the hospital, what do you want nurses to
Farahna is mother of Hamza*, now 11, who relied on a tracheostomy for 10 years and
whose remarks closed the conference. She responded simply in a deep, quiet, powerful
voice, “ I am the mother.”
And all the mothers together said, “I could not have done it without you.”
the everyday huge and small sacrifices and loving kindnesses that mothers make for
their children, most of which go unnoticed and unrecognized. And I am ever more
appreciative of the expertise, heroics, gentle touches and encouraging words that
nurses bring to the mothers and their children to restore and maintain the well-being
of both. You inspire me.
*Hamza and I won the award for Best Dancers at the conference dinner!