Barbara Hofelich is from Reading Massachusetts, and has been on two previous missions. Both to Pereira Colombia. Barbara day starts off at 5:15 am where she hurries to find her morning coffee and enjoy the comradery of the other team members and the stories of the day before.
From there a quick bus ride gets her to her pre op room, where she readies it with balloons, stuffed animals, games and hangs the art work for the previous day. While she waits for her first patients she puts on bunny ears which will bring smiles to the children.
As the children enter the room with anxieties, she quickly puts them at ease, with games, coloring and singing. Each child receives a hand made quilt, stuffed animal and a toy. Something very special about Barbara is that she takes her time and chooses each quilt, animal and toy especially for that one child. This year she brought action figures for the boys and bracelets for the girls. Not to forget she gives the girls mani and pedis. She was also lucky that other team members brought cars, crayons and other toys to help her out.
I ask her if she had Rotary/Rotaplast moment. With a smile she told me about a little boy named Keith. Barbara met Keith at opening clinic, and as he bound into the pre op room with a smile, his mom told Barb the he has been looking for the bunny since opening clinic. Once the last patient leaves pre op Barbara goes up to the recovery ward to say good night to all the children. The evening of Keith’s surgery he gave Barbara a hand made thank you note and a beautiful purse that she will treasure forever.
Sometimes we forget how important a smile and a hug are. Thank you Barbara for giving your time and love to the children on this mission.
I am blessed to have you as a friend and sister.