I’ve mentioned little Sophia before, the little girl who “adopted” me as her Auntie Erin. She recently had to have surgery on her arm, and this past Monday, she and her mom Becky called me to say she had to go back into CHoP (The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia) for more surgery. An infection had grown in her arm in the original wound. I found out Tuesday that she came home, but needed medication. Becky tearfully told me that Sophia was refusing to take it; after 2 surgeries and hospital stays, fear and tiredness made her dig in her heels. Nothing they said or did could get the medicine down her throat, and her surgeon said that if she didn’t take those pills, she’d lose her arm.
Before that would happen, they’d bring her back into the hospital and put her on IVs. No one wanted to put her through that. Not to mention, even a day of waiting to see if she had to go back gave the infection time to become even more entranched.
I felt so afraid, but I didn’t know what to do. Nothing I could say would make Sophia listen when she wouldn’t listen to her mom and dad.
And then, as I scoured my mind to think of who she might listen to, I remembered the Disney Enchanted Calls. I posted about these before where Mickey Mouse or a Disney princess will call. I did it for Sophia before: I had Mickey call to wish her a Happy Birthday or that he knew she was coming to visit him in Disney World. Sophia is the granddaughter of former Imagineer; she knows all about The Mouse and his “daddy” Walt. She’s also a huge Mickey’s Mouse Club fan. Even with Tinker Bell movies and all, Mickey means a lot. She’s been to his house, after all.
And then I remembered I once had a Mickey call of Encouragment for her and it helped calm her down when she was nervous about something. Of course I wondered: would it work now?
I jumped online and set up for Mickey to call, but there wasn’t anything for someone being sick. For the heck of it, I selected Ariel, Sophia’s favorite princess. For her encouragement call, it had an additional option: the person getting the call was worried they’d be okay.
I let Becky know what was going on and held my breath.
Friday, I got a call from Sophia, excited that Ariel had called her on Tuesday. Ariel told her that she got scared too sometimes and it’s hard to be brave, but she knew Sophia could do it. Becky told me Sophia hung up at the end, sat quiet, and then said, “If Ariel said I can do it, I can.”
She took her medication. Every day.
Now, Sophia’s surgeon said her arm is healing very well, everything they hoped to see. She’s now in the best case scenario, not the worse. She’s not even middle of the road. She’s keeping her arm and will have full use of it. Because Ariel and Mickey called and said they believed Sophia could face her fears and be brave.
It’s a simple little computer and phone program; I’ve always worried that Disney would give up on it and shut it down. Thank goodness they didn’t do it. Because the power of hearing your heroes helped a little girl when she needed it most.