Bad Things Can Happen to Good People

My friend’s baby has to have a skin graft this morning. The poor little mite is 11 months old and spilt a cup of hot tea which was on the coffee table down her front last weekend – they rushed her to hospital, were then transferred to a specialist burns unit and have since spent the most traumatic week imaginable: including having to physically hold their baby down while her bandages were changed.

Most of the area has blistered and is healing under the bandages, but a small area on her neck is not, so they’re going to take a tiny piece of skin from under her arm and stick it on her neck with special glue.

She’s just at the stage of pulling herself up using the furniture so every day some place that used to be safely out of her reach is newly accessible.

But the worst of it is that my friend, who was in the room when the accident happened and whose cup of tea it was, is positively wracked by guilt. She and her partner (he’s my canyoning buddy) are wonderful parents, they’re loving and careful and sensible but… she was exhausted after another disturbed night and, well, frankly, accidents happen.

Despite the anxiety and helplessness they’re both feeling – which can tend to cause a person to say all sorts of things they don’t really mean – there have been no recriminations or blame. However, this is largely because they’re not really speaking or even touching, apparently. They’ve both retreated into themselves in an effort, I’m sure, not to say something they’ll regret.

Its all rather ghastly. However, the main thing is that little April seems okay. She’s eating and sleeping well and is cheerful, even though she’s bandaged from neck to waist.

Please pray to whatever gods listen to you that her skin graft op today goes smoothly and that she heals fast and completely.

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13 Responses to Bad Things Can Happen to Good People

  1. modestypress says:

    I don’t pray, but I send my hopes and concerns.

  2. doctordi says:

    Oh, just read your comment, Truce, that’s BRILLIANT news, I am so pleased. Only moments ago my face was all scrunched up – that brave little sausage. And her poor parents – I hope the fact that all went smoothly during and post-op means they’ve allowed themselves to exhale. Accidents do happen. I’m sure your friend is torturing herself most cruelly over this one, and I hope her hubby accepts she’s likely punishing herself quite enough.

    • Norwichrocks says:

      Yes, I saw her on Sunday and she (the baby) was happily crawling around and smiling brightly. Luckily at that age they seem to take every day as it comes and so the bandages are just accepted, like an extra-large nappy.

      The parents are still being extra careful around each other, but at least they’re talking…

  3. I’m definitely praying. What a horrible situation.

  4. That’s so hard, when an accident happens to a child. I see from your comment above that the little one is doing better … and I hope her parents are, too.

    • Norwichrocks says:

      Yes, all three are doing better, thankfully. But I don’t think anything can prepare one for such an incident, as a parent. It seems to have been overwhelming and an enormous shock.

  5. The great thing about babies is that they are in a major growth phase and so when accidents like that happen they tend to heal quite quickly, especially since the injury was tended to immediately.

    The healing to the parents may take longer. It is important to remember that accidents do happen, that is why our bodies are equipped with mechanisms for healing bruises, cuts, breaks, etc. It is unavoidable, and wrapping a child in cotton wool and protecting them from every little (or big) thing that could happen is impossible.

    Who would have thought that a cup of tea sitting on a coffee table would be hot enough to give second degree burns? The coffee that I am drinking at the present time wouldn’t even be warm enough to make a red spot.

    But this is just the sort of thing that can wind up becoming a huge issue in a relationship; the couple involved need to sit down with a neutral party and TALK. Soon. It would be sad if their baby healed and they did not.

    • Norwichrocks says:

      That’s exactly what the doctors have been telling them, apparently – that her youth will be a benefit because her skin will heal much faster and is unlikely to scar at all.

      I agree with you about the need for the parents to talk about this. I’ve tried suggesting maybe a session or two with a counsellor, but I don’t want to push it – I’m very conscious (as a non-parent) that it could seem like unwanted advice from someone who doesn’t/can’t understand the situation.

  6. Colm says:

    I agree with hmh here. Guilt is inevitable, but these things do happen to the best and most conscientious of people. Bringing kids up is not easy and mistakes are bound to happen along the way. I hope they are able to patch things up but I think a trained third party would help tremendously.

    • Norwichrocks says:

      Yep, that’s it – accidents are bound to happen. But somehow, I suppose, everyone always thinks they won’t happen to *them* or to *their* child: one always assumes that accidents happen to careless people or something. So when they happen to you, its a huge shock, just to realise that you’re not immune just because you’re trying to be a good parent.

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