All Creatures

Our Golden Solution

Christmas Eve morning and my four-year-old daughter, Hailey, was in the hospital again, this time in a brand-new wing of the Swedish Medical Center in Issaquah. She was the only pediatric patient. The doctor was with Hailey, waiting to talk to my husband, Gary, and me, but I paused for a moment in the hallway, bracing myself. Whatever news the doctor had, I knew it wasn’t going to be good.

An artificial tree, festooned with lights and ornaments, stood in the corner. Carols played over the PA. The staff had tried to give the place a festive air, but it felt grim and sterile to me.

Hailey had battled chronic lung disease and epilepsy since birth. She’d spent much of her short life in the hospital. Even when she was home, she was mostly bedridden. A surgically inserted feeding tube kept her alive. Her lungs were so weak, she couldn’t risk going out in public and being exposed to germs. Her big brother, Logan, and sister, Harmony, were I’d found myself wondering lately. Why wasn’t God helping Hailey get better so she could play with a friend, go for a walk, eat ice cream? I wasn’t asking for anything extravagant. I just wanted my little girl to enjoy the simple pleasures of childhood.

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