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A Piece of My Mind
April 21, 2015

Addie’s Hope

Author Affiliations
  • 1Palo Alto High School, Palo Alto, California
JAMA. 2015;313(15):1517. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.7871

It was on a warm September night that we snuck my little white dog, Georgie, into the hospital where my father works. He had made a promise to a dog-loving patient that he would bring in the hospital dog to visit her, but that was before he knew that the dog had retired. But, a promise is a promise, and my father knew that this was an especially important one to keep. So, in a towel-covered dog-carrier, well after visiting hours, we carried Georgie through a maze of unfamiliar hallways, doors, and spiraling steps. Soon we found ourselves in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, where critically ill children are treated for all sorts of sicknesses, and where my dad spends most of his time. As I trailed behind my father down a long hall, we passed quizzical-looking nurses and young doctors. Everywhere I looked, there was a child with a life-threatening issue, and the air was thick with anxiety. After having me sanitize my hands, my Dad led me into a door at the very end of the hall.