Yesterday we had our first surgical day of our September mission. During the screening process we seemed to have a majority of adult patients. I knew I was in trouble! Yes, the kids we care for make me want to take them home but the adults tug on my heart on a whole different level. As the long first day was drawing closed, I found myself recovering one of the adult lip repairs. He was under general anesthesia so until he woke up in the recovery room he hadn't seen his new lip. He slowly became alert and I brought him over the mirror to have a look. I held the mirror in my hands as he gazed at himself, moving his head around to check out different angles. He wagged his head side to side signifying that he was done looking. I went to put it down when he reached out towards the mirror. Thinking he wanted another look, I tried to place the mirror in his hand. He shook his head no and grasped my hand. Slowly he raised our hands and touched them to his forehead. He closed his eyes, mouthed a prayer then gently laid my hand down on the bed. Our eyes met, he wagged his head side to side again and with that act of gratefulness I found myself in tears.
I had to walk away and quietly re-compose myself! After a few minutes I walked back to his bedside and he immediately started speaking to me in Assamese. I called over one of the local nurses for me and she translated that he was concerned that his family member who came with him had not eaten dinner. It was very late and he wanted to make sure he had been taken care of. A man who had not eaten for over 18 hours and was recovering from surgery found himself more concerned over his attendant than his own well-being. What a kind and gentle soul he was!