We learned last night that Emily came home from the hospital on Friday, over six months after she was diagnosed with a brain tumor and had surgery to remove it.
We met Emily the morning after Andrea’s second surgery, when the hospital staff asked Andrea if she would be willing to meet another 14-year-old who was facing surgery and was quite anxious. Emily was nervous. I’ll never forget her wide smile and big eyes, as well as the tears and fear in her parents’ faces, as they tried to comprehend what no one knew. Prescient, perhaps.
Emily’s tumor was malignant, complications kept her in ICU for weeks, and then she faced what turned into months of chemo and rehab. We saw her from time to time, Andrea wrote letters, and we donated blood. And we wondered how any family could cope with what they had no choice but to deal with. Our own eight day experience in the hospital seemed trivial, in comparison.
While Emily’s ordeal is not finished — she begins radiation treatments next week — the news that she is out of the hospital, is again sleeping in her own room, and that her family will be together in their home this Christmas is joyous. There’s no better Christmas story or gift than this.