The tragic case of Sakurako Uehara, the 7-year-old Japanese girl who is in our care after being mauled by four dogs, has touched all of us. As the events of the last two weeks have unfolded, I have often found myself stopping to reflect on what this turn of events means for young Sakurako and her family. I know from conversations with many staff how much she is also in your thoughts at this time.
Immediately after Sakurako’s arrival at Middlemore, we had intense press interest in the case which resulted in a series of media interviews with our Plastic Surgeon, Zac Moaveni, Intensivist, David Galler, and Head of our Plastics Department, John Kenealy. As I listened to these three speak about the work of the teams who are looking after Sakurako, I felt incredibly humbled by the gentleness and compassion displayed by our truly extraordinary staff.
In many respects, I can’t actually find the words to fully describe what I feel in response to the professionalism and enormous sense of caring that staff are showing for Sakurako, for her family and for each other at the moment. I can only liken it to other experiences in which I’m also lost for words – when I hear a piece of music which touches me or when I see a beautiful scene in the countryside. They are moments which serve to remind me to just slow down and be grateful.
So today I’m doing just that and feeling deeply grateful that in our world there are people with the skill, the compassion and the humanity to look after a young, vulnerable child in the most extreme circumstances. To me, these qualities are the measure of true greatness and I have nothing but complete admiration for you all.