My first hero shout out goes to ‘D’ who just turned two from Papamoa. Last year while he was staying at his grandfather’s house, D managed to escape into an empty pool where the family were burning rubbish. He suffered severe burns as a result and lost his fingertips.
It was a terrible accident but what has amazed me over the year is the strength we each have inside ourselves. I watched ‘D’ a few weeks ago at his daycare. He was learning how to feed himself. His little hands were cracked and dry from where the burns were still affecting his skin development. I knew he was hurting because he kept saying “Ouch,” with tears threatening to fall. My heart was breaking, but he never stopped trying, his carer gently massaging his fingers with cream and encouraging him to keep tying.
Then last week, I saw him working on some play dough. His eyes were focused on grasping the play dough cutter with what’s left of his fingers as he pushed it into the dough to make a flower shape. His smile when he’d done it was enough to light up the room.
What I’ve learnt from “D” and his family is that no matter what happens in our lives you have a choice, sink or swim. “D” has been fighting for a year now with his burns. His small body still comes into daycare wrapped in protective burns clothing. He should spend all day being bitter, upset by the events that have changed his life. His family could spend every day broken over what’s happened. But the truth is that they don’t, they keep living and laughing and trying to work through the hand life’s dealt them. I watch with awe and I’m reminded that everyday we’re surrounded by everyday hero’s who brighten the world. Thank you ‘D’ for teaching me this important lesson.