Sunday, May 30, 2010

My overnight trip to Toronto

I'm just back from an overnighter to Toronto, to see my honourary granddaughter Abby and her Mom and Dad, Christine and Dan.

Abby has been in The Hospital for Sick Children for a week now. At first it looked like meningitis, but thankfully, that was quickly ruled out. It hasn't been confirmed, but it looks like a stomach bug of some kind kicked the crap out of the little sweetie, dehydrating her and sending her into shock.
I'm happy to report that things are looking up, and she seems to be getting better by the hour. Tomorrow, her care team will discuss whether she's well enough to transfer back to Timmins. Her parents, as much as they'd like to go home, will not rush anything. They are loving, very level-headed parents. Dan has to go back to work Friday night, so hopefully they'll at least be back in Timmins by then, but whatever happens, they're prepared to roll with it.

I can't describe how much I love that little girl. At three months old and weighing about ten pounds, she has this 52-year-old, 200-pound guy wrapped around her baby finger. Her smile just lights up the room, and makes her Big Uncle Bob's heart melt. I hate the circumstances under which we got to spend time together this weekend, but given the circumstances, there is no place in the world I would rather have been this weekend.

I flew Porter Airlines for the first time, and it won't be the last. Unmatched comfort and service; convenience by landing at Toronto Island instead of Pearson, and quick ferry and shuttle service back and forth from the island to downtown. Reasonably priced, too.

Back to Sick Kids: Pardon my naivete and idealism, but it breaks my heart to see a building there devoted to pediatric brain tumor research. Why do we need such a thing?

It's also disturbing to see a sign in the hospital directing you to the Substance Abuse Treatment Day Program. In a children's hospital! Of course, "Child" means up to 18, but still...

And as sick as Abby has been, it's also heartbreaking to see some of the kids there. Seeing as such a place is needed, it truly is a great place, staffed by amazing people who never get the credit they deserve, or at least never enough of it.

No, I'm not depressed. Quite the opposite. I'm counting my blessings and being thankful first of all that Abby is going to be alright, for having her in my life (and her parents, too, of course) and for the people and facilities that are there when we need them.