This post is dedicated to the men and women in the nursing profession

Special Guest Blogger: Jacquelin Sandoval

Day 1 was a busy day for the Austin Smiles team; a total of 12 surgeries were completed during the course of the day. As I sit under the warm Guatemalan sun on day 2, reflecting on my first day I am overcome by emotions.

There are moments in life that mark your existence and who you will be for the rest of your life. Today happens to be one of those for me. During the course of the 1st day there was a scene that repeated itself over and over, to be precise 12 times —each time it became harder for me to hold my tears back.

A buzzing noise from the elevator informed us that the surgical team was coming down with a baby from the operating room. That signal sent the team into prep mode. As the elevator doors opened the nurse from the operating room carried the beautiful baby with the most loving hands, gently waited for the mothers to approach. I have to admit that watching the nurse handing over the baby to the mother was simply heart wrenching. It’s almost as if time froze during the exchange. In the mother’s eyes you saw the most sincere level of gratitude and eternal appreciation as their internal relief escaped their bodies through their eyes and tears of happiness rolled down their faces. The nurse beamed with happiness and sense of victory as they held on tightly to the baby. Once the eyes of the nurse and the mother locked something magical occurred, the beaming smile of happiness from the nurse was instantly transferred to the mother. The intense sorrow and overwhelming anxiety was transferred to the nurse. It was not only an exchange of the physical baby but also the exchange of emotions.

Each nurse in this exchange did the exact same thing; they placed one hand on the arm of the mother and comforted her by reinforcing the point that the baby was well. The nurse smiled at the mother while holding their emotions back and quickly stepping away. As the nurse walked away, you could see the nurse take the mother’s pain with her. The nurse’s smile quickly disappeared and her eyes quickly became a cloud of rain. Taking a deep breath the nurse entered the elevator and did this over and over again during the course of a 13 hour day.

The honorable profession of a nurse is one-part professional medical warrior and one-part spiritual healer.

I have to say, I for one could not possibly do this every day! I think of the emotional toll it must take on each one of these professionals. In today’s post we say, thank you to all the nurses on this Austin Smiles Mission in Guatemala. Your hearts of gold are appreciated. Your willingness and kindness is exceptional and is the fuel of the operations…simply said, thank you!

And to all the nurses in the world—thank you for being pure love and for the life’s you touch daily.

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