The message drapes in colorful cut-out letters over the door of the patient’s room.
Eight-month old Ethan is ready for it. The only home he has ever known is Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital. But on this day, he is truly going home.
“It’s been such a long time,” says his mom, Arelis. “It’s a great feeling.”
The doctors and nurses who’ve gathered to give him a special send-off—complete with balloons and cupcakes—are marveling at what this baby has overcome. A congenital diaphragmatic hernia. A heart defect. Infections. Respiratory issues. Five surgeries. Setbacks that would make even the greatest optimists lose faith. But nobody here did.
“He’s a miracle baby—110 percent,” says nurse practitioner Michelle Chadbourne. “And he feels like one of our own.”
Staff delighted in Ethan’s first giggle. Applauded when he rolled over for the first time. Took pictures when he got his first tooth. Now they are saying goodbye.
Ethan dips his little hand into the cupcake icing, brings it to his mouth, and savors the sweetness.
Time to go home.
As the vaccine comes to the frontline workers, a world of possibilities begins to open up.
For Gavin, the hospital isn’t all about challenges and adversity. It’s about giving joy to others.
The holidays she has altered to care for kids are too many to count, but as she retires, she leaves much for patients and colleagues to be thankful.
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