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On My Mind |

The Birthday Party

Steven A. Bondi, JD, MD
JAMA Pediatr. 2013;167(1):7. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.440.
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I followed the sounds of singing to the birthday party. Taped to the wall was a banner with a rainbow of colorful letters: H-A-P-P-Y-B-I-R-T-H-D-A-Y. Everyone in the room was singing with enthusiasm. A baby boy in the center of the room was adorned with a bright yellow Winnie-the-Pooh birthday hat—just like the ones everyone else was wearing. His was much too large for his tiny head. In a corner sat the baby's wide-eyed nurse, also singing and wearing a hat. She looked more than a little uncomfortable and seemed to be trying to blend into the wallpaper. I saw no cake or presents, just family members gathered around the little birthday boy who was wrapped in a white blanket, nestled quietly in his mother's arms.


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Beautiful Story
Posted on March 28, 2013
Susan Givens Bell
All Children's Hospital, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Conflict of Interest: None Declared
What a privilege it must have been to witness this family celebrating what was and not what would be. I imagine having the memory of the birthday party has helped the family on their grief journey. As a neonatal intensive care nurse for over 30 years, I have had the privilege of being present at some rather amazing events both surrounding birth and death. Thank you for sharing this experience.
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