Dr. Rhonda Hamaker knows her work healing patients is important, but she never imagined a kid who could make the wish of a lifetime would choose to spend a day by her side.
But not every kid has faced challenges like Cindy, who was born premature and then diagnosed with a medical condition that would alter her entire life. The care she received from medical professionals like Dr. Hamaker saved her life.
And left a lasting impression on Cindy.
A Wish to be a Doctor
For part of her life, Cindy was not able to breathe or eat on her own. She had a tracheotomy that allowed her to breathe. So when Make-A-Wish offered Cindy the chance to name her one true wish, she had a vision of her experience that surprised everyone.
She wished to be an ear, nose and throat doctor. Dr. Hamaker couldn’t believe it when Make-A-Wish told her about Cindy’s wish. Why would a child choose a day at the hospital instead of a theme-park visit or a vacation?
“She could do things that, at that age, are a lot more amazing,” Dr. Hamaker said.
But the grand visions of most wish kids? That’s just not what was in Cindy’s heart.
A Day to Help Others
During her day as an ear, nose and throat doctor, Cindy shadowed the staff while wearing an orange lab coat. She saw patients and wrote prescriptions. And she also boosted the spirits of the staff members; some of them remembered seeing her as a patient and were delighted to see her acting like a normal, healthy child.
And Cindy herself seemed in her element. She was already familiar with many of the rooms and medical apparatus. Her wish may be a glimpse into her future.
“It makes me think there’s hope that there’s going to be altruistic doctors in the future who really want to take care of people and take care of kids,” Dr. Hamaker said.
Photos: Sara Ackermann Photography