For my FE100 class, I went on a service event at Mount Washington Pediatric Hospital. I had the opportunity to play with the kids who have to stay here for long periods of time. The hospital is divided in two parts, one from babies, who were recently born, to toddler age, and the other one from toddlers to 21 years old, who are not very common in the hospital. These kids are in the hospital because they are recovering from some illness, but they are considered stable, which means none of them have terminal illnesses. It was very interesting and rewarding to share time with them because we learned about the hope they have for their future, and they are always looking forward to new experiences even if they have some kind of disability.
My first half of the tour was with the bigger kids, when I first saw them, it was hard because some of them had feeding tubes through their noses or they were sitting on wheelchairs. Even though they have many physical problems, they always showed their happiness, they wanted to share with us and we had an incredible UNO game which never ended. When I started reading “Serving up hope” I was thinking the whole time that opportunity should be given to everyone. These kids have the power to do a lot of things, and therefore should have the opportunity to study and to fulfill their dreams. Even if they have certain disabilities they should have the hope that they can contribute to the society they are in. It will be harder for them, but they will teach not to take our own abilities for granted.
All the people that have all parts of their body are able to help people with disabilities, particularly kids. We should keep them in our hearts like Phillis Levin said hi his poem “End of April”; here the speaker says that he found someone and he keeps this person in his heart, and sometimes it hurts his heart, but he enjoys the company of this other person. Helping people with disabilities is not always easy; sometimes it is sad because we see suffering, especially in these little kids who are innocent, but it is rewarding to see them happy.
During the second half of my visit to the hospital, I saw the younger babies; they also have many physical disabilities. Most of them are visited by their parents every day, but some of them are not. It is rewarding to play with these kids and give them some company during the day, it is very important for them, because as kids everybody likes to play and just be happy; it is all part of the Jesuit education. These kids need stimulation and encouragement for their future and we can help them by dedicating some of our time on them, we can be helping them instead of just watching TV in our rooms. A mother of one of the girls was there playing with the little girl, I saw how sad she was that her daughter had disabilities, but when I heard her talking, she had the hope of making everything better for her little two month old girl. Parents always have a different point of view; they always have the hope that everything will be better for their kids.
As I finished my day at the hospital, I was happy that I could spend time with these kids and just have a fun day with them. By getting Jesuit education, we start realizing that learning not only takes place the classroom but everywhere, and with anybody. We can learn from kids as much as we learn from older people. It is just a matter of understanding what is important in life. Service should always be important because we should give back what society gives us.