This kid is about 9 yo, but his life hasn't been easy. Despite our poking and prodding, checking blood, ultrasounds, xrays, sticking needles in his abdomen to remove fluids we can't figure out why he has a huge spleen, and thus can't do much about it. The spleen is so big that takes up most of his abdomen, causing him significant discomfort, difficulty in walking, prevents him from leading a normal 9 yo boy's life of climbing trees, running and playing with his friends, etc. Despite altering his life, he doesn't have other sequalae from having a huge spleen, and having a spleen is a good thing in PNG, so we haven't taken it out.
2 days ago he came with his mom and his dad to the clinic because his eye was swollen. He was having trouble seeing, was having a fever, and his eye hurt. I really wanted him to stay in the hospital, but he didn't want any part of that, so he got a shot for 2 days, and then came back to see me today. Today he is all smiles, despite still being really sick. The swelling is down in his eye, but he still can't see well out of it. His abdomen is still really swollen causing him to not be able to walk long distances or play with other kids, yet despite that he smiles.
When I saw him smile, I was challenged to smile myself despite the challenges around, to appreciate the little things in life and not focus on whatever the struggle is that is currently happening. His smile reminded me that life doesn't always go our way, sometimes we get sick, sometimes a loved one gets sick, sometimes even when we have an illness we get another illness, but we can still be happy, still smile, still brighten someones day despite that. I hope we can all be more like him and share our smile with others.