Parents feel helpless when their child goes into surgery. This downloadable resource at the American College of Surgeons can ease their worries.

Parents of kids who have had surgery understand helplessness. When our children are rolled away on gurneys and disappear behind the swinging doors, we are helpless. Though we may not want to admit it–and even though our hearts are consumed with our children’s well-being–we really, really need someone to hold our hands until our babies return to us.

Who Will Hold Your Hand When Your Child Has Surgery?

I felt that way every time our son had surgery. The memory of that feeling was the impetus behind the writing of A Different Dream for My Child and Different Dream Parenting. It’s why an entire section of each book is devoted to equipping parents so they can cope with childhood hospitalizations. And when a recent internet search turned up a downloadable resource written by Dr. Kathryn D. Anderson in cooperation with the American College of Surgeons, I was delighted. After reading the title, Who Will Hold My Hand? A Guide for Parents Whose Child Needs an Operation, it was obvious the author understands how helpless parents feel when their child has surgery.

What’s In Who Will Hold My Hand?

The downloadable booklet is divided into four sections:

  • Part 1: Let’s Walk Through the Day of the Operation–What happens before and after the operation, what kind of operation will my child have, who are all these people, and what are the diagnostic imaging tests?
  • Part 2: Please Listen to Us–Are we the only parents who feel this way, and how can I be part of my child’s care?
  • Part 3: Childhood Medical Problems that May Need an Operation–Lumps and bumps, abdominal conditions, chest conditions, newborn conditions, and tumors
  • Part 4: More Information–An appendix of questions to ask the doctor, a resources appendix, and a glossary


Sounds pretty good doesn’t it? Links to the table of contents and the downloadable booklet can be found at the the American College of Surgeons website.

Who Held Your Hand?

Do you have a child who had surgery or invasive medical tests? Who was there to hold your hand? Leave a shout out about who helped you in the comment box. And hold another parent’s hand by passing this resource on to families of children who need an operation.

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