A day in the life

Each day I try to tell an interesting story. Often times they are sad and other times they are funny or uplifting. As you might guess, during a day when I have a heartbreaking case, something funny might happen as well. I usually do not like such juxtapositions in my writing but now I will try something different.

When I arrived at the hospital yesterday, I walked through the wards and greeted all the children and their families. We smiled, slapped hive-five and shook hands. They laughed at my Creole and I tickled the toddlers until they were gasping for air.

When I reached the last room, there was an empty bed. I asked the nurse what happened. She said, “She died yesterday. I don’t know why.”

The only thing that crossed my mind was, “She died while I was at the beach.” That is not an easy thought to handle.

I then started rounds. Of the first five patients I saw, two were alive solely because I was there. It is an amazing feeling to see a child smiling and playing that would’ve been dead if I was back in the US.

As I was beginning to see my sixth patient, the security guard approached and said, “A patient that is not hospitalized would like to see you.”

I looked over and saw an adorable four year-old girl peering at me. She had a hint of a smile. I replied, “I usually only see the very sick children. She can go down to the clinic and see the other doctors.”

“I think you should see this one”, he said firmly.

When the mother entered the room, she sat down and said, “She was raped by three boys, aged 15, 8 and 5 and two admitted to having sex with her.”

My head fell, with my chin striking my chest and the only words to come out were “What the f**k!”

The case took nearly three hours to sort out and I put her on medicine for HIV, Gonorrhea and Chlamydia.

Then I got back to my other patients. As I was seeing my 20th and last patient, I asked her if she liked music. She smiled from ear to ear and said, “Mwen renmen Rihanna (I like Rihanna).”

As I began to play one of Rihanna’s hits on my iPhone, the girl jumped-up, grabbed a nearby patient and started dancing (see video below).

I smiled and laughed for 5 minutes as they swayed back and forth.


2 Responses to “A day in the life”

  1. Tim Z Falconer Says:

    I don’t know what was going on in the head of the 15-year-old boy you mentioned; he certainly should have known better, obviously he has been horribly mislead, and I would guess, mistreated for years. But the other two, aged 8 and 5, are, in my opinion, victims of the same crime. With the lack of adequate medical care in Haiti that you’ve been describing, one can guess that other social systems we take for granted are absent too. I’ve heard news stories about the lack of any public school system there – no pay, no school – and I think this is the direct result. How terribly sad. It is jarring to read of the several of your day in the same blog entry; I can only say, keep writing, and I will keep reading.

  2. lingie Says:

    Child abuse cases are emotionally challenging. I am glad that UR resilient to take on difficult cases & it does bring a smile to my face to see the video of the kids dancing at the end. UR saving lives!!

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