“I’m taking DNA from this BANANA and I’m going to make LIFE!!”
That’s what my happy patient was talking about all day long this weekend.Â His parents had bought him a DNA science kit to pass the time while he was in the hospital. It was about what DNA is, how it works, and then there was an experiment to make something – I think an ink that had traces of DNA so it couldn’t be forged.
He read every part of the experiment over and over, but I don’t think that he actually read what the experiment was supposed to do. He knew that DNA was the basis of cells and life, and that the experiment had something to do with DNA, but I don’t think he quite knew what he was doing. He kept going around and saying he was going to take the DNA from the banana and make life.Â Or that if you took human DNA and gave it to an animal, the animal would start acting more like a human.
The best part about it though, was that he totally improvised and transformed his hospital room into his own personal laboratory. Lacking the usual supplies you would have at home like a measuring cup, we brought him some medicine cups and graduated cylinders to help with the mixing and measuring.Â When he couldn’t freeze the “specimen” he asked for some ice he could keep it on.Â With the imagination of a 10 year old, that room really did turn into a lab – every time I walked in, I could almost feel it.
It’s kids like this that make the craziest day worth while, their smiles and funny sayings, their imaginations that can make even a stay at the hospital an adventure. As this little guy put it, his hospital was his second home, and he definitely made us all feel like a part of the family. Kids like this make being a peds nurse even that much more special.