Many years ago, my dad was diagnosed with a terminal heart condition. He was put on permanent disability and was unable to work at a steady job. He would be fine for quite a while, but would then fall suddenly ill and have to be admitted to the hospital. He wanted to do something to keep himself busy, so he decided to volunteer at the local children's hospital. My dad loved kids. It was the perfect job for him. He ended up working with the terminally and critically ill children. He would talk to them and play with them and do arts and crafts with them.
Sometimes, he would lose one of his kids. In certain instances, he would tell the grieving parents of these children that he would soon be with their child in heaven and that he would take care of them until they got there. He would also ask the parent if there was a message they would like to send with him for their child. My dad's assurances seemed to help parents with their grieving.
One of his kids was a girl who had been admitted with a rare disease that paralyzed her from the neck down. I don't know the name of the disease or what the prognosis usually is, but I do know that it was very sad for a girl around eight or nine years old. She couldn't do anything, and she was very depressed.
He started visiting her in her room, bringing paints, brushes and paper. He stood the paper up against a backing, put the paintbrush in his mouth and began to paint. He didn't use his hands at all. Only his head would move. He would visit her whenever he could and paint for her. All the while he would tell her, "See, you can do anything you set your mind to."
Eventually, she began to paint using her mouth, and she and my dad became friends.
Soon after, the little girl was discharged because the doctors felt there was nothing else they could do for her. My dad also left the children's hospital for a little while because he became ill. Sometime later after my dad had recovered and returned to work, he was at the volunteer counter in the lobby of the hospital. He noticed the front doors open. In came the little girl who had been paralyzed, only this time she was walking. She ran straight over to my dad and hugged him really tight. She gave my dad a picture she had done using her hands. At the bottom it read, "Thank you for helping me walk."
My dad would cry every time he told us this story and so would we. He would say sometimes love is more powerful than doctors, and my dad - who died just a few months after the little girl gave him the picture - loved every single child in that hospital.