It can’t get much worse

When I arrived at the hospital today, I saw there was an empty bed in Room A. The child with the typhoid fever was found dead at 2AM. Nobody knew when or how he died.

Soon after, a volunteer nurse from the US came through the door with a severely malnourished patient. The child was struggling to breathe and his heart was giving out. We tried to keep him alive but after two hours of work, he died too.

We comforted the mother and then we began rounding on the other patients. The first one I saw was a three month-old with severe respiratory distress. His test came back showing that he was HIV positive so I pulled the father into a private room and told him the result. He was sad, upset and scared. When we left the room, his child took a turn for the worse, went into a coma and started bleeding from his stomach into his mouth. The father softly said, “Please stop trying to treat him. Just let him die peacefully.” We did as he requested.

For the next few hours, I saw each hospitalized patient. Then in the late afternoon, I began to pack-up and head out the door. Before I took one breath of fresh air, the kid in the picture below was brought in by his grandmother. For the next two hours, we worked on getting him stabilized and tucked in for the night.

When I arrived back home, our security guard asked, “How was your day?”

I simply said, “Oh, it was fine” and went upstairs to take a nice long, cold shower.


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