How Hope Looks in a Dress—Visiting Kadeeja, Four Years After Surgery

Hope, healing—these words are concepts, but Kadeeja is not a concept.

She is hope wrapped in skin—a breathing, moving testament to the power of healing.

Her friendship with PLC began four years ago, before the Remedy Mission model, when children traveled to Turkey for operations. One of the earliest recipients of medical care—and the first teenager—Kadeeja received surgery as a 16-year-old struggling to survive with a heart defect.

I saw her last week: beautiful, breathing, alive—posing for photographs, swathed in blue-and-green traditional garb, laughing and smiling with her transformed heart.

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We met in the midst of a celebration, her sister’s college graduation, which involved perpetual picture-taking and candy-sharing (rather than a cap-and-gown ceremony). She told me her name and asked for a picture.

When I applied for this internship, I saw names typed out on a screen; viewed smiling photographs; read statistics. But I could not fully recognize the lives behind those words and pictures until I saw Kadeeja put her hand over her heart and introduce herself.

She is a living testimony that the things we talk about, read about, and long for do not simply remain in our minds. They become active and alive: things that exist in reality.

I no longer attempt to understand hope and healing through written things or spoken things, because Kadeeja has shown me a different way.

Hope is much more real when it can be hugged.

What physically embodies a concept like hope, love, or healing to you? Share a story by commenting below.