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A Little Attention


Chloe is a little girl who has anal atresia. She has had two stages of her anal atresia surgery and has just had some additional reconstruction. This child charms everyone she meets and just LOVES attention.

She has learned how to get attention by doing all kinds of tricks. Dr Yan, the chief surgeon’s assistant, came in to check on the babies. The group, including Dr. Yan, our facilitator Tingting, and other volunteers, went over to check on the baby in the bed next to Chloe, leaving Chloe alone. She decided she didn’t like that one little bit, so she started a loud scream while moving her head up and down with a “mean” smile. She certainly managed to get everyone’s attention, including Dr Yan’s. This reminded Dr Yan that he had not examined her yet, so the whole group moved to her instead. When Dr. Yan began to lift up her blanket, Chloe started to realize that she had probably done the wrong thing in bringing attention to herself. She then started to fake cry. When she realized Dr Yan was seriously going to examine her surgical area, she cried with real tears and began talking up a storm in “baby talk”, which sounded like she was saying she didn’t REALLY mean to get Dr. Yan’s attention.

Dr. Wu, the chief surgeon, came in an hour later. The group was all still there playing with the babies. They all started crowding around the baby in the bed next to Chloe’s again and once again, Chloe decided SHE wanted the attention so she began to yell again. When Dr. Wu looked back at her, she suddenly remembered that perhaps she didn’t want to come to the attention of any doctor in a white coat and she got quiet REALLy quickly. Everyone got a good laugh over how smart she was, and they have reported that she has now moved on to tearing up cartoon books instead of trying to get attention from any doctor.

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