The first time I met “Daniel” was at his 8th birthday party. The clinic had a birthday party for him and bought him a special bike. He had never ridden a bike before, he was born with a disability. When the doctors put Daniel in his mother’s arms, they told her that the only chance he had to have another birthday was to leave their home for specialized care that his country could not offer him. What would you do for your child?
Nearly 35 million U.S. children have experienced one or more types of trauma. One of the most common causes of childhood trauma is separation from a parent or caregiver. Children as young as 5 months old can remember traumatic events. This can lead to social, emotional, and academic difficulties. Why would we as a nation ever want to contribute to that?
Daniel continues to have surgeries, therapy, and complications. He stopped playing at recess because he was afraid he would fall. Imagine being 8 and knowing how much a CT scan costs at the Emergency Department. Last year, Daniel started having seizures. Would you walk across the world if it meant you could keep your child safe? Would you accept the help of friends to find someone to perform brain surgery on your baby? I hope so.
Keep families together. Keep children remembering happy birthdays wherever they are. Families will continue to walk across nations to find a better life for their children, we are only responsible for how we treat them while they are in our care.
Amy Norbury, MSN,DNP
Nurse Practitioner from North Carolina