The recent debate over the Facebook cartoon character avatars
generated some emotion. For those of you that missed it. People were changing their pictures to show support for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) against child abuse. For me it served as a reminder that Christmas
is not a great time of year for everyone!
This post is graphic and could lose me some followers, but I don’t
believe in censorship so here goes.
When I was a student nurse I had to work in paediatrics over
Christmas. I had no experience with kids and was overwhelmed.
Christmas week we were told of a new admission. Nothing could have
prepared me for it. We admitted a child who had been kept in a cage!
Desperately malnourished and dirty. The child was 2 but had no words,
just animalistic sounds. They couldn’t walk. There were injuries,
which I won’t describe, other than to say the least horrific was the
tip of the nose appeared to have been bitten off.
For the next few days a team of us attended to the urgent medical and
basic life threatening needs. We tried to comfort and groom her. On
Christmas eve a foster family came to take the little one. They
brought new clothes and a gift. Looking back she must have been
petrified. It took me a long, long time, to not think of that child
A couple of years later, I had almost completed my training. I was
doing some rounds with a district nurse. We went to visit a family. I
thought the women looked familiar, but I couldn’t place her. I started
reading the case notes and couldn’t believe we were there to see that
same child. My heart started pounding, In anticipation. Suddenly, out
of the corner of my eye I saw a flash of gold. There coming down the
stairs was a vibrant little girl with golden ringlets! She ran to her
foster mum who could not get a word in edge ways. Needless to say I
cried all the way home!
We don’t all have the skills to have nursed that child back to health.
We don’t all have the resilience to cope with such traumas. If I’ve
learnt anything this week it’s that even if we are not capable of
being practically involved, as a collective voice it shows that the
issue is forefront in people’s minds. That it is not being ignored and
that awareness or changing your Facebook avatar may not solve anything, but it may just make people sit up and think..
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