The crude tones of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” resonate throughout the VCU Medical Center Children’s Pavilion, as three-year-old Kyra and her father, Matthew, pound on a musical toy while waiting for their appointment. Kyra, eager to include everyone in her fun, rushes impatiently around the waiting room, beckoning everyone to join in the musical symphony. Her mouth spreads into a wide-toothed grin, as she approaches one rather forlorn looking woman, sitting in the corner. Kyra grasps the woman’s hand and encourages her to play with the many toys scattered haphazardly around the room. In no time at all, the woman is chuckling.
This is the power of Kyra. Without speaking, Kyra, a child from St. Lucia who recently received open heart surgery, is able to illuminate a room. From high-fives to a crooked smile, she exudes joy and energy. Just minutes after a nurse’s painful attempts to draw blood from her arms, Kyra is smiling once again.
Ultimately, in helping Kyra and Matthew, IHC impacts many more lives. Children like Kyra, with their energetic personalities and joyful grins, will undoubtedly spread warmth wherever they go . . . helping hundreds of people or simply brightening the life of one lonely woman, sitting in a waiting room.
Submitted by Anna Mohan, IHC Summer Intern