Sota is a boy who will turn 5 years old soon.
He carries out his daily lives in a wheelchair due to spina bifida.
In the summer of 2009, I was 6 months pregnant with Sota when the doctor discovered his disorder. It was the saddest summer in my entire life --- I cried through the summer.
I contemplated on many things…future of my family, and whether or not I’d be able to accept a baby with a disorder. My doctor told me that I will love my baby no matter what once I see him/her. At that time, the doctors’ words just sounded so idealistic and unreal. However, as the delivery day approached, I tried to gradually change my mindset and maintain positive attitude.
I gave a birth to Sota by Caesarean operation. Sota was found to have another disorder immediately after his birth, therefore, underwent a 10-hour surgical operation a day after he come into this world. The operation took place without my knowledge or supervision, as I was also bedridden from my own surgery. My husband heard doctor’s briefings and did everything else alone. Sota and I were in separate hospitals, so my husband traveled between the two hospitals to deliver my breast milk. In a way, he is the one who first “breastfed” Sota. This experience fostered him paternity love & bond to Sota, and awakened him to become a real father whether he liked it or not. Even to this day, I feel that Sota is helping us grow into real father and mother. Despite many anxieties and worries I had before and after his birth, I am now very happy and grateful for being able to have Sota in our life.
So far, Sota had 9 operations, and many more hospital stays. Sota has a younger brother named Kaito, now 1 year old. If RMH didn’t exist, we didn’t know what to do with Kaito. We were ready to make daily trips to the hospital but Kaito wasn’t. We probably had no choice but to leave Kaito with my parents --- leaving both of my sons missing their mother when they need me the most. Of course help was available from my husband and my mother, but it meant very special to be able to stay together as a family at RMH.
Kaito is actually very shy; however, thanks to friendly interactions with volunteer staff and other visitors, he has become a very friendly child. He thinks RMH is his own house and is very happy to play with other visitors/staff. After all, he is the one who spends the longest time at RMH, so he is the best person to talk to if you want to know how great RMH is!