The burden of youth

Today I rounded by myself. Each patient seemed to improve slightly overnight.

I have a one year-old female patient who is currently undergoing treatment for tuberculosis. This patient is accompanied by a family member who takes the temperature, changes clothing, feeds and gives medicines. Yesterday I had noticed that the caretaker seemed very young, around 13 years-old. Today I asked about their situation and I learned the patient’s mother died a few months ago from tuberculosis.  The family lives far from the hospital and it is this one-year old’s adolescent sister who is responsible for her care.  They will remain in the hospital together for a minimum of two months.

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