A dad's moving apology to the hospital that cared for his son has gone viral on social media.
Dan Langlois, from Wisconsin in the US, sent the heartbreaking note to the local hospital where his son has been looked after for the past eight years.
Gabriel was born with Spina bifida, a birth defect where there is incomplete closing of the backbone and membranes around the spinal cord, which meant he’s had to undergo 20 surgeries. Dan told Babble: ‘He is paraplegic, pretty much wheelchair-bound other than crawling, and is at risk of kidney and bladder issues.’
But despite all his son’s health problems and how much Dan has hated going through the hospital’s doors at times, the dad realised he’s lucky to still have his son with him – which is why he decided to send the moving apology letter to the hospital.
In it, he wrote: ‘I have loved these doors and hated these doors. I loved these doors when my wife and I walked through them for the first time to meet our son. I hated these doors when I walked through them for his 20 surgeries. I loved them when walking back out after the surgeries. I hated them for the 180-plus-mile trip for a single 10-minute checkup. I loved these doors when walking out after learning that surgery or admittance is not required.
‘The other day, walking through them again with my son (I have lost count how many times over the past eight years we’ve made this trip), I was struck with a different feeling: guilt. I’m not sure where it came from, but I realized I need to apologize.
‘To every child that has walked in through these doors but never walked back out again, I am sorry.
‘To every parent that has walked in through these doors with their child, but left through these doors empty handed, I am sorry.
‘For every child and parent that has walked out through these doors with a final diagnosis, knowing that walking back in through these doors would be futile, I am sorry.’
He goes on to apologise to hospital staff, and other professionals who also have to deal with the terrible aftermath of a child’s death, be it a member of the social services teams or a caregiver.
He added: ‘I cannot begin to imagine what all these people go through, and I hope that I never will. Until I do, I will love these doors.’
The heartbreaking text was shared by the hospital on their Facebook page, which prompted many people, including parents and health professionals, to share their own stories.
One mum wrote: ‘This post stopped me dead in my tracks when I seen I was here the first time to give birth to my daughter Winter Rae born with a diaphragmatic hernia and AV canal heart defect n she never got to walk out with me.
‘Then three years later when my son got flight for lifed with a glioblastoma brain tumor who passed almost three years later. Thankful for these doors as I got the extra time with him and all of the surgeons steady hands’.