Yay, you get to go home! Oh, not you.

Yesterday we were inundated with new patients. They lined the hallways and created a sense of havoc on the ward. The atmosphere was no longer calm and business-like.

We were forced to discharge many patients. They were all stable but were not prepared to leave. When I told the family of Agencio that he was chosen to leave, his mother smiled ear-to-ear. They had been hospitalized for nearly two months for severe malnutrition and eagerly awaited the trip home. As they prepared to leave, I said congratulations and began to clap for them. The entire room followed, clapping and cheering.

As I left the room, the mother of Denio, a patient admitted six weeks ago for pneumonia still requiring observation, quietly said “Denio no go home”. She was smiling but I could sense that she was sad. I tried to cheer her up by listing the ways that he had improved but I do not think it worked.

Agencio just before discharge

Denio, still waiting for discharge

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