Yesterday morning I rang the Evelina Children’s Hospital Cardiology team as we had noticed Coraline was eating much less than usual and taking longer to do so. Her first morning feed had been pronounced in this respect. They told us to go into Kingston Hospital which we did. They said it is either a virus or her heart and we now know what to do if it’s either one of these. They did not think it was her heart, but as a precaution they have given her diuretics to take. Perhaps it was this as she is doing so much better today; eating more speedily than ever before, and very lively in a whole new way.

It so happened that we bumped into Coraline’s Consultant Paediatrician in the corridor who was there because he had swapped a shift with someone. He stepped in to help on our case before his shift even started. For a time we were just chatting to him about recent personal life events, and he to us about his own personal life events, as we had not seen him since she was born. He then said, “you see in life people think it’s about giving things to people. But it’s actually about listening. You listened to what I told you about my life today, and I listened to you and we both feel appreciated”.

After this we got onto him assessing Coraline’s feeding. But actually he’d had one expert eye on her feeding all the time we had been chatting. He explained things so beautifully that we felt supported, as though everything was so clear it just flowed. That smile was on my face again. He has a gift for bringing that about with his very presence.