hope is powerful

These were the three words I said to the surgeon when he told me all I had was hope, as they wheeled my two year old daughter into the operating room.

I was asking him what her odds were. 

She was unconscious and going into organ failure with still no known diagnosis. As a physician, I knew the odds were not in her — our — favour. But as a mother when you hear, “all you have is hope” — you look the other doctor in the eye and say “well we are lucky hope is powerful”.

And it is. I held onto that hope. I had friends hang onto that hope for me, us as well. It still gives me chills remembering that moment.

Picture of Charlotte at 2 years old - same day that she was raced to the Alberta Children's Hospital - diagnosed with HUS, rushed to the OR, and started on 24/7 dialysis as her organs completely shut down.

I was full of fear, don’t get me wrong, but I choose to hold onto hope and let it give me strength. I was reading the book “The Scalpel and the Soul” at the time, and right before this happened, I was reading about the power of hope. The unexplainable medical outcomes we see.

I held onto that.

There is a lot we do not, and cannot, control in medicine, and I know that hope does not hurt.

The intentions we carry through our day, the energy we put out there as we see patients, has a ripple effect. We can hold ourselves up and help build others up with this.

As part of this belief, I wanted reminders for health care workers as they start their day that Hope is Powerful and We Got This.

Both mantras will be inside of our scrubs. Discrete, but a reminder when you put them on to start your day.

Because right now, who couldn’t use a little hope? 

We Got This.

And yes, I was lucky. My daughter survived. She learned to sit and walk again, and years later one would not know she had been so close. I have incredible doctors and nurses to thank and the power of hope.

- Dr. Kathryn Dundas, CEO & Founder

May 07, 2021 — my formation