As I was heading out for one of my short walks today, I saw a little girl in the stairwell, maybe six or seven years old, wearing a cute little dress and holding hands with two ladies who flanked her as she gingerly made her way down the stairs. Her head was completely shrouded in bandages; she also had on one of those neck-and-head "halo" braces that look awfully uncomfortable to wear.*
While I'm normally annoyed by slowpokes in front of me on the stairs, there was no way in the world I was going to say anything to this little angel as she descended. The brace looked a lot more serious than did the bandages covering her cranium; I surmised that her neck injury must be worse than her head injury. A car crash? A fall? Something worse? I watched her and felt my throat tighten; she looked so damaged and moved with such difficulty. I wanted to hug her and keep hugging her until she was finally all better. Instead, when she and her escorts stopped to regroup at the bottom of the stairs, I ducked around the trio and held the swinging door open for everyone to let them exit the building. And that was that.
Good luck, kid.
*For reference, see this pic of a halo-wearing Miles Teller in the upcoming boxing movie "Bleed for This," about real-life champion boxer Vinny Paz (né Pazienza), who came back from a severe neck injury to box again. The little girl's brace had thinner vertical struts, and the part where the brace touched her shoulders wasn't nearly so cumbersome.