December 11, 2013

by Robyn Bryant

December 11, 2013


I know it is only Wednesday, but it has been a long week so far.  I attended the funeral of a very special young man yesterday.  I am thankful that I had the opportunity to spend a small amount of time with him.  I loved him and love his Mother.  His story has been all over the news this week.  He was a fighter and like Christian has left a lasting legacy on earth.  


Today, I had the pleasure of visiting Children’s Hospital of Alabama.  I was blest to have a good friend drive me to Birmingham.  My friend’s Mother-inlaw arranged for us to have a special tour of the hospital.  She met us off campus to drive us to the hospital, Corbin Cullum was also able to join us today.  It is always a blessing to spend time with Corbin.    I was not expecting to be treated like a VIP.  We were greeted by Andrea from Children’s of Alabama’s Hospital Foundation and she was present during the tour.  The CEO, Mike Warren came to say hello and gave me a beautiful book that includes all the art work throughout the hospital.  The best part for me, was our tour was led by Dr. Ray Watts, the Chair of the Hematolgy/Oncolgy Department.  The facilities were amazing and so impressive.  The Hematology/Oncolgy inpatient floor and the Peds ICU and the Emergency Department were exceptional.  I so wish our patients in Chattanooga could have a similar facility.  We have the incredible professionals delivering care, we just need a new facility on a much smaller scale.


After the tour, I was escorted to a conference area and greeted by one of the Chief Pediatric Residents, Dr. Adam Johnson.  Adam and I met by chance earlier this year while he and his wife were visiting Chattanooga.  I am thankful that he made it possible for me to be there today to share some of Christian’s story.  


So, today I received the gift of standing in a room full of Pediatric Residents, some Medical Students and some Attending Physicians to share a story.....a very brief glimpse into Christian’s journey.  I specifically talked about what Christian and I started referring to as, “The List.”  “The List” was short and you had to be pretty impressive to make the list.  Chris and I added a couple of Residents to the list after Christian was critical.  I also briefly talked about how Christian wanted to change the world and I told them that I thought that was happening, but just not like she planned.  I encouraged them to make a difference, even if it was just by smiling at someone in the hallway.  I gave everyone a copy of Christian’s Personal College Essay and left some to be shared with those not present.  I then shared a quote we received in a card from one of the PICU Intensivist after Christian died,  “We are thankful for Christian’s too short life and were blessed to know her.  She was a teacher in more ways than one...about life and medicine.”  In conclusion, I offered a challenge...”Everytime, you enter a patients room, no matter if they are 2 months or 24 years old, think about, am I going to make this patient, this family’s list?  Spend some extra time, I promise, you will walk away the one blessed.”  And then as everyone was preparing to leave, I forgot something important...I introduced the first Resident to make “The List,” Dr. Jennifer Hamm, she is now a Pediatric Hematolgy/Oncolgy at UAB.  Tonight, I am thankful for the blessing of the opportunity to share some of Christian’s story to a room full of people that were intently listening to every word I said.  I truly think everyone present wanted to hear what I had to say.  I pray they all walked away inspired.   - Robyn Bryant