“we’re a non-profit that focuses on heart disease education and research.”
that’s my short answer when people want to know what the hope heart institute is all about. i get a chance to help a lot on the educational side… we have programs in grade school, middle school and soon to be high school. they are kids take heart, youth take heart, teen take heart… basically we want people to take care of their heart health!
we were invited to attend an open house for a new wing of one of our hospitals. it’s vacant now with that brand new smell… empty hallways and silent rooms. it will soon shed its shyness to become the new er.
yesterday about a dozen classes of 30 kids filed through the new hospital on their learning tour. most of the learning stations were staffed by nurses and doctors… they learned what happens in different aspects of the building, from getting prescriptions, to admitting patients and basic first aid. on their journey they collected bendable skeleton dolls, water bottles, doctor masks and energy bars.
they came through the sliding door to our stop. a very small patient room made smaller by 30 small and energetic bodies crammed in two lines against the wall with their crinkling goodie bags. at their feet was our giant poster showing the pathway of circulation. students take turns being a blood cell, starting in the lungs full of oxygen and choosing their path through the body until they convert to carbon dioxide and are exhaled.
school after school repeated the process and i placed pencils in their eager hands as they filed out of our room now knowing how many chambers the heart has and what blood cells carry. one of the last schools to come was a christian school. you never would have known by how they acted. they didn’t look any different. they were the same little fidgeting 4th grade bodies. eagerly waving their hands to be a volunteer and shouting out answers.
at the end of our 10 minute presentation their teacher cut in with his deep voice, “class, is it possible that you could be breathing the very same air as adam and eve?!” energetically they concurred. i, jolted by the mention of the first parents and stood in a kind of stunned silence. when he asked us for confirmation to this apparent truth i wasn’t sure how to respond. i had heard about adam and eve since i was tiny. i believe they lived in the garden. this wasn’t what i took issue with. but school for me through laws and regulations has been made so separate from my church life. besides, we were discussing sharing the same air to breath and thrive… my first thought was a resounding, “ew.”