Her Name Is Zahraa, And She Probably Loves You

A photo of little Zahraa and her dolly.

We passed the midway point of Remedy Mission IX, and, for me, everything seemed to be moving in slow-motion.

It was the best problem any hospital could hope for: boredom.

When the alternatives are problems like drama between medical staff, complications in the ICU, or even death, I’ll take boredom any day!

I had already completed my morning rounds of photos and family meet-‘n-greets, and I was back dozing in the break room, debating whether or not to eat an extremely unripe banana.

Then the break room door opened and in walked the little girl in the red coat. 

She was hugging a doll and squeaking something at me in Arabic. Her dad poked his head into the room, apparently glad to have found her.

He seemed embarrassed by her intrusion, but we invited them to sit and share their story. I learned that the girl’s name is Zahraa, she is 6 years old, she has a beyond-your-typical-little-girl obsession with dolls, and she needs an urgent heart surgery.

While talking with her father, Zahraa leaned toward me from her dad’s arms and whispered something to me in Arabic.

“She says she loves you,” a translator explained.

Initiating heart meltdown.

As if that wasn’t enough, she proceeded to grab my head and kiss me on the cheek and then to tell everyone else in the room that she loved them, too. Her malformed heart certainly has no trouble expressing love! But she still needs an operation and, according to her father, it is scheduled to happen soon.

Come back tomorrow and I’ll tell you more about the little girl in the red coat and her (hopefully) lifesaving operation!