A large disappointment

This morning, Musafiri, his father, Lisa and I left early for the hospital. We wanted to start the work-up quickly and get him admitted to start chemotherapy.

As we approached the hospital, I had visions of utopia. Based on what I had heard, this was going to be a premier medical center with all of the resources of a western hospital.

I have NEVER been more wrong!

As we walked into the pediatric ward, there were tens of sick children lying in old, rusting cribs in an enormous common room. Mothers were sleeping or resting on the floors and the room was filled with wailing children.

Soon after, Musafiri was taken to his sleeping area. He was not provided a bed but was placed in a crib. A 13 year-old boy was expected to sleep in a space fit for a 3 year-old.

We were then told that there was no bedding and that we must go to the market for sheets and a mattress for his father. We searched around the city and a few hours returned with the supplies.

As I walked back into the ward, I was surprised to see Musafiri with no IV. When I questioned the nurses, they stated that there were no more IV equipment. “What is going on”, I thought to myself.

We ran out and grabbed the supplies at a local pharmacy and quickly returned. As I sat next to his bed, I asked the doctor what his lab results were. He said “unfortunately we will not be able to check his blood for two days. The lab is very busy.”

I almost lost it. The only thing I could say without yelling was “just draw the labs and give them to me.” 

We grabbed the blood and rushed to the city center. Within minutes, we found a private lab and they quickly ran the tests. In addition to anemia and no white blood cells, Musafiri no longer had any platelets.

We returned to the hospital around 7PM. I gave the doctor the lab results and looked through the chart. After a few moments, with a hint on condescension I asked “so what antibiotics did you decide to start?”

He swallowed heavily, and then said “Oh, I forgot to write for them. We will start amp and gent”.

I responded, “Yes, I can see that you forgot. Please start them soon and give him a platelet transfusion”.

He then shyly said “We will have platelets in two days. We will give them at that time….. Things are not usually like this and will be better after the weekend.”

I immediately walked out of the room and the only thing I could say to Lisa was “What are we doing here!”

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One Response to “A large disappointment”

  1. Francisco Acosta Says:

    That is so sad and dissapointing. I felt your anger as I read. Poor kid is suffering thru all this.

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