“Sociable, stress-reliever, and strong-willed,” these are words that Althea’s mom, Rean, uses to describe her daughter. We agree with Althea’s mom! We often hear Althea singing, talking, and bringing joy to everyone that passes by. Some of that shared joy comes from a special bond that Althea has with her CURE nurse, Miay.
Althea was born with arthrogryposis, a rare disorder in children that involves multiple joint stiffnesses affecting the hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, hips, feet, and knees. To find help for Althea, Rean brought her daughter to CURE Philippines. Throughout Althea’s long procedures, she would meet other patients and staff members, one of whom holds Althea dear to her heart.
Nurse Miay wasn’t sure how her relationship with Althea grew, but she knew that Althea was not like any other child. Nurse Miay told us, “With Althea, it was all small-talk until she would start sharing about things that she likes. She shared some of the things that she’s interested in, like the movie “Frozen” and how much she loved Elsa’s character. I also heard about how much she likes getting dolled up with her cousin. But, she would also share some things that she doesn’t like, such as her bullies in school.”
“With her feisty little attitude, kids don’t really get to bully her for long. Althea is strong and she finds humor in things. All I did was remind her of who she is—strong, loved and cared for. I hope those words keep her head up as she stands out amidst a community that speaks words that tear her down. As I got to spend more time with her, I found out that she lives in the same town as some of my relatives, so we thought of getting together someday,” shared Nurse Miay.
“You can come to see me! Just say my last name!” These were Althea’s instructions to Miay as if it were that easy to find a little girl in a big town. She has always been silly, although she often withdraws during treatment. Althea especially dislikes getting cast changes. However, she looks forward to coming back to see our staff, especially Nurse Miay.
“One Christmas season, I gave her a book with Frozen characters and some make-up, since she likes getting dolled up. When the hospital was filled with Christmas decorations, Nurse Candice and I gave her a tour around the hospital. Seeing Althea happy got me excited, and we took a lot of photos! My job can be challenging physically, mentally, and emotionally as you spend time kids with special needs daily. But, I can see that God has really blessed me with this opportunity to share my blessings. Every time she comes back, I see the joy in her as I spend time talking to her in the clinic. God probably appointed us to meet, so I can give her comfort. That blesses me too,” added Nurse Miay.
Nurse Miay often goes above and beyond her formal job description to help her patients and make them feel special. This is what she has done for Althea, and we see why they have formed such a special bond.
We continue to pray for Althea’s legs to become stronger and hope that everything that we do, whether we stay with our patients at their bedside or meet them back during their follow-up, brings glory to God!