There’s no doubt that love and kindness can help heal the body.
On Christmas day, Cassie Baker of Saint Charles, Iowa, snapped a selfie with Parker, her infant daughter. The baby is chubby-cheeked and alert and appears to be in perfect health, except for the small plastic tube running across her face.
Parker was born extremely early at just 23 weeks. After spending 234 days in the NICU, she was finally discharged to go home in July.
Despite her chronic lung condition, she was thriving — until she caught what seemed to be a cold four days after Christmas. Not long after, she was back in the pediatric unit at MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center.
“We knew catching a cold would be bad for her, but never imagined it would become so severe so fast,” Cassie wrote on Facebook. “This is what a virus can do to a kiddo with compromised lungs.”
Cassie and her husband Jacob are surrounding their little one with love, but like all family members in the hospital, they needed some comfort. That’s why they’re so thankful for cardiovascular perfusionist Dane Pratt.
“He just one day scooted up to her bedside, opened a book, and read to her,” Cassie said. “As a parent, it makes you feel so at home and at ease knowing that there are medical professionals that don’t just see this as a job and are still compassionate.”
The Bakers were so moved by his kindness that Cassie shared a picture of the sweet encounter online, which quickly went viral.
As it turns out, Dane routinely brings his own books or rents them from the library so he can spend quality time with his patients. Best of all, with the attention he’s been receiving, he organized a book drive for MercyOne’s pediatric floor. Anyone can drop off new or gently used books so Dane and other selfless souls like him can make a child’s day.
“Going the extra mile doesn’t mean you actually have to walk a mile,” Dane said. “Sometimes it’s as easy as reading a book.”
Seeing him go out of his way to love on their child has reminded Cassie and Jacob that they’re not alone in their struggle. Sometimes a simple act of kindness is exactly what the doctor ordered. Way to go, Dane!
Learn more about how you can support the Bakers here, and share this story to wish Parker a speedy recovery.
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