An Unexpected Gift

Today I received an unexpected gift that gave me great joy.

I received a phone call from Max's wonderful doctor, Dr. Alan L. Shanske. The last time we saw Dr. Shanske was in September last year and we had hoped to see him this April at our 6 month check up but alas he had taken some leave.

His team were slightly perplexed when, with tears running down my face, I asked when he would return. They were unable to answer me. When they asked what was wrong, I could not find the words.

On March 24, 2006 at approximately 7.00am whilst lying in the ICU, I met Dr Shanske for the first time. I was not in the best of shape but he came to me and said "Sallianne I have been down to say hello to Max, he is well, he is beautiful and there is nothing wrong with him". "We have to fix his lip and mouth but that is it".

I wonder if he realized at the time that I would hold those words in my hand like they were gold.

Our check ups with Dr. Shanske were never any different. The instant he saw Max he would swoop him up in his arms and tickle him. We would then show Dr. Shanske how clever we were on our numbers, body parts, alphabet and singing.

Whilst Dr. Shanske was attempting to write up his comments, Max would show him how to lower and raise the examination table, turn lights off and on, and how to move the Mouse to get the computer to go on.

Through it all, this lovely man just said what a marvel he was, how he was "on track", that his voice was fabulous and to keep doing everything that we are doing!

Dr. Shanske called today to thank me for my card but also to inquire how Max was doing. He listened intently as I detailed the progress Max has made, his operation this past Tuesday and the upcoming visit to a developmental paediatrician. He also had some magic words - "stop worrying", "these things take time", and "he will be absolutely fine".

He is a magic man. All who come into contact with him sense it. I for one am a better person for knowing him and our Max has been blessed to be under the care of this wonderful Doctor.

Thank you Dr. Shanske for truly making my day.

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