For years, I have operated on little children born with heart defects.

The surgery is complex, risky, even life threatening at times. Families are stressed to breaking point, but they weather that storm with courage and fortitude.

While I thought that I intuitively understood what they were going through, I’m not sure that I really ‘got’ it emotionally… until today.

Because today, I took my nieces for a blood test.

And they went ballistic at the thought of being stuck with a needle!

Cajoling, convincing and coercing them to undergo a test which took barely a minute left me haggard and worn out.

And then, I saw my patients’ families in new light!

Appreciated them more for what they endure, deal with and overcome.

They are heroes – in a very real sense.

And just by walking in their shoes, albeit in a very small way, gave me the perspective to really FEEL their pain.

Do you walk in anyone else’s shoes? For just a little while, at least?

Did it help you feel differently about them?

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