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October 21, 1988

Come Follow Me

Author Affiliations



JAMA. 1988;260(15):2276. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03410150124045

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Come—follow me. Today I am going to walk you through the third floor of the Children's Pavilion. Before we go upstairs, let's sit down and imagine we are young again. Think about the neighborhood playground; see yourself playing kickball, climbing the jungle gym, jumping rope. If you listen, you can hear the laughing, the playful screams of childhood. Close your eyes and think about how strong and indestructible you are as a child, how carefree. There are no such things as cancer, pneumonia, muscular dystrophy, spinal meningitis. There are only youth, happiness, and health. Let's go upstairs.

This is the spinal recovery ward of the pavilion. Nowhere in the world are you as close to the outdoors and yet as far away. There are patients on this ward who have not been outside of the hospital for a year. The third floor is a sea of lifeless limbs and painted