• Alicia Assad

Determination VS Gratitude

In my last post, I mentioned that William’s scars came to remind me of his bravery. Still, my resolve to love his scars was tested each time William told me he hated his ouchies. Though I always reminded him his scars show us how brave he once was and are a beautiful part of him, I couldn’t ignore several questions. Is doing nothing really the best thing for William? At what point do you just throw in the towel, focus on blessings and accept what was happened? At what point do you know you have fought hard enough for your child’s well-being?

Eddie and I couldn't overlook the fact that at William’s young age, reconstructive surgery could have very good results. When friends introduced us to a pediatric plastic surgeon at a birthday party, it became clear that doing something was the best decision for William’s well-being. At three, William did not waiver from his desire for surgery “to make my ouchies go away” even though I explained to him that the doctor was going to cut him open, take out some (not all) of the ouchie and then sew him back up again. I was brutally honest in reply to his question, “Will it hurt?” saying, “Yes, William, it is going to hurt.” I wanted him to know the truth. I also secretly hoped he would want to back out and not go through with the surgery. Yet William never wavered despite my warnings. He would always reply, ”I don't care Mom, I want them to go away.”

William’s scar excision surgery lasted several hours. When he woke up from the anesthesia with seven raw incisions under layers of bandages, he was devastated to find that the ouchies were still on his body. This is the first time I ever saw William depressed, and I felt that I had let my boy down. But by this point, I was confident we had done all we could for him so I forged ahead through the maintenance of his new wounds. The surgery had successfully reduced the surface area of his scars by 30 percent.