A Spe­cial Salad


Special Focus - - Contents - Xu Kuang 许旷

Red tomato, green cu­cum­ber, yel­low banana... On the morn­ing of April 4, in a pe­di­atric ward of Tongji Hos­pi­tal, a group of blonde- haired blue- eyed for­eign­ers, both moth­ers and chil­dren, were work­ing with Chi­nese child pa­tients to make fruit salad.

“It is the Cold Food Fes­ti­val in China to­day. It’s a tra­di­tion to shun cooked food and just eat cold food on this day. When in Rome, do as the Ro­mans do. So we’re mak­ing a salad, a cold food in our coun­try, and shar­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence with the chil­dren.” said Ms. Joanna from Amer­ica, “Mak­ing salad takes co­op­er­a­tion and ef­fort, dur­ing which time the chil­dren are re­spon­si­ble for their du­ties within the team.”

With the help of the moth­ers, the chil­dren were busily wash­ing toma­toes, peel­ing bananas, cut­ting ap­ples, adding crème, and work­ing to­gether to make the first fruit salad of their life. At times, some of the more mis­chievous kids se­cretly ate the in­gre­di­ents; which was quite a sight. Chil­dren are more likely to eat the salad they make them­selves while they were feel­ing good.

Ms. Yao Ying, pro­fes­sor of Tongji Hos­pi­tal sug­gested that diet man­age­ment plays a key role in the treat­ment of pe­di­atric kid­ney dis­ease. Eat­ing the right foods helps with the re­cov­ery process. On the con­trary, eat­ing the wrong foods leads to mal­nu­tri­tion and ex­ac­er­bates the con­di­tion.

Ac­com­pa­ny­ing chil­dren and play­ing with them are the most ef­fec­tive treat­ment for child pa­tients. Af­ter shar­ing the salad, child pa­tients played games with for­eign chil­dren in the ac­tiv­ity room while for­eign moth­ers com­mu­ni­cated with them via ges­ture. They burst into laugh­ter and chased each other now and then. It is this kind of love that re­moves lin­guis­tic and cul­tural bar­ri­ers.

Most child pa­tients in Tongji Hos­pi­tal suf­fer from some form of chronic dis­ease. In Septem­ber

2016, Tongji Hos­pi­tal es­tab­lished a Fu­ture Chil­dren’s School. Its class­rooms are placed in wards, and teach­ers are vol­un­teers with hearts full of care. With the help of those teach­ers, chil­dren can read books, watch movies and play games to­gether.

These vol­un­teers are now liv­ing in Wuhan. They come from the United States, the United King­dom, France, Spain, Rus­sia, and Brazil. Since 2013, they have been vis­it­ing hos­pi­tal­ized chil­dren in pe­di­atric ward. Ev­ery year, Tongji Hos­pi­tal presents chil­dren gifts and plays games with them. In the fu­ture, they will ar­range reg­u­lar English classes for them, in the hope of open­ing a win­dow for them, through which the chil­dren would be able to wit­ness dif­fer­ent cul­tures. Trans­la­tion: Lu Qiongyao)

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