Another patient

As I was leaving the hospital last evening, I was called to the emergency department to assist in the care of a four year-old girl that was severely burned. Upon arriving to the patient’s room, I became nauseous and tears welled up in my eyes. She had no discernable face and her upper extremities were completely charred. There was minimal normal skin on her body. We worked vigorously to obtain IV access, but as we struggled to maintain her life, I was silently praying for her to have a peaceful, expedient death. I felt like a horrible person and doctor for wishing her dead, but I desperately wanted to end her suffering.

Last night did not bring restful sleep. After 1am, I fought off sleep to avoid the nightmares.

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One Response to “Another patient”

  1. Tim Says:

    Chris, I’m finally catching up on your blog after the last month. I find your honesty, especially in this short note, nothing less than breathtaking. I have faith that since then, you have found comfort and joy in the many courageous, joyful things you have accomplished since you arrived in DRC. Keep up the good work.

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