Cindy, 8 was born with premature lung disease and has trouble breathing on her own. Since that day, doctors, nurses and the hospital have always been a big part of her life.
Eight-year-old Cindy was referred to Make-A-Wish by her nurse at Peyton Manning Children's Hospital at St. Vincent. When it was time to decide her wish, Cindy surprised her entire medical team when she chose to be an ear, nose and throat doctor.
“My first thought was, oh my goodness, did anyone really explain this to her? Because I’m thinking, we are nothing compared to Disney World ”, says Dr. Haymaker.
But this was Cindy’s heartfelt wish.
“I think Cindy chose her wish because she has seen hundreds of doctors in her little life,” said Dr. Sufi, Cindy’s pulmonary physician. “We all try to treat her with respect and care for her as kindly as we can, and I think she understands that is what being a doctor is all about.”
On the day of her wish experience, Cindy was outfitted in a personalized orange staff coat. Walking down the hallway with a medical professional must have — a cup of Starbucks in her hand — she was introduced to the hospital manger as the newest member of the team: Dr. Cindy.
Dr. Cindy was given her own textbook and learned about some basic ear, nose and throat pathology with Dr. Haymaker. Afterwards, Dr. Cindy practiced how to scoop ear wax made of peanut butter and raisins out of pretend ear canals. She also learned how to make an insertion in the ear drum and put in ear tubes.
After a quick lunch break, Dr. Cindy visited with patients in the Pulmonary Clinic. Each patient she treated received a special sticker that read, “I was treated by: Dr. Cindy”.
“Cindy worked with our team really well today”, says Dr. Sufi. “She did all the aspects we usually do in the pulmonary clinic. She examined patients, she counseled patients with their disease, she helped write prescriptions”.
Dr. Cindy touched many people with her shy smile and her dedication to making them feel better."That was her wish, was to hang out with us for the day,” Cindy’s nurse LeeAnn said. “She could have had anything she wanted and she chose this, so it was very special.”
Dr. Sufi added, “I think Cindy will eventually become a doctor. I think she is interested, she enjoys helping others. She is going to be somebody who is going to give back to the community.”