As they were waiting for surgery, I snagged Hussain and his dad for a quick photo shoot in the adjacent operating room. His father is nervous—he keeps grabbing his son and squeezing him. Hussain is normally too hyper to be held down, but he just sat there and let his dad hold him. I’m sure he could tell something was about to happen.
For me, this is the most unsettling time of the entire surgical process. It’s not while they’re in the O.R. or when they’re in critical condition in the ICU, it’s now. It’s the waiting. Once the child is on the table there’s no going back, but you can see the uncertainty in Hussain’s father’s eyes as he sits there wondering whether or not to go through with it.
If I’m nervous, I can’t even begin to imagine how he must feel.
As I sat with them, I attempted to exchange emails with Hussain’s father in order to send him the photos after the mission. He didn’t know what email was; a nearby nurse had to explain it to him. I tried to imagine how his father could not know about email and still be willing to trust his child to the doctors with all their medical technology and know-how. It must have taken incredible faith on his part to let Hussain climb up onto that operating table.
But thankfully, we have a phenomenal team with us this mission, and Hussain’s case isn’t overly complex. That doesn’t mean it’s a guarantee, but it’s at least comforting. Thanks for sticking with Hussain and his sweet father up to this point.
We’ll have more surgery updates for you in a few hours—keep reading!