Anthony’s First Camp Experience

Kathleen Herman had been praying her son, Anthony, would get to go to camp this summer. Anthony was born with a heart condition that causes narrowing of the heart valve, and he has undergone countless tests and procedures at Children’s. His heart condition has continued to worsen, and at times, Kathleen and her husband, Ray, weren’t sure their son would make it another day.

So, when Anthony was able to board the bus and head to Camp John Marc for a week of fun in the sun, they were beyond grateful. Read one of the entries from Kathleen on Anthony’s caringBridge page:

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Ok. So now I’ve cried.

First-time parents always get an update call from Camp Moss during the first couple of days of camp. I knew to expect it. But I didn’t expect the familiar voice I heard on the other end of the line yesterday when I received our call.

The call was from Dr. J. She was the attending cardiologist during the first week of Anthony’s hospitalization for endocarditis, the worst and most frightening days of his illness. As the attending, she had been the bearer of all the bad news we received during those first few days. We had not seen her since then and we had no idea she was even at camp. I was thrilled to talk to her again, especially under such different circumstances.

She told me she had begged to be the one to call “the Hermans” because she had made us cry so many times in the hospital. She wanted to be the one to share some good news with us for a change! And she did.

Dr. J was with Anthony Sunday night during his cabin’s bedtime story–the Camp Moss staff has a tradition of telling bedtime stories to the younger campers, crowning a storytelling “winner” at the end of the week–and then again at arts and crafts yesterday morning. She said Anthony is really enjoying himself and that “it is so good to see him like this, not curled up in a hospital bed.”

Of course, hearing the news that Anthony continues to do well at camp is wonderful, but hearing that news from someone who had seen him at his worst made it all the more profound. I was so happy and touched by our conversation that I began to cry when I shared the details of it with Ray.

Oops. Tears.

Please don’t tell Dr. J.

She’d be upset to know she made me cry again.


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