Saturday, November 21, 2009

A visit to the National Hospital!

Good Evening,
This afternoon I went to the government hospital to check on two infants we have in Intensive Care. This Hospital is located about forty five minutes from the Mission. It is one of the oldest government hospitals in the country but with new government administrations they do seem to at least paint the structure. Over the years the Pediatric Unit has improved thanks to international donations; this includes equipment and better staffing. Again we are fortunate as the Chief Doctor also did his senior year rural practice with us and also was one of the first Physicians for the Clinic Maxeña in the eighties. We do ask him to monitor our patients and also for second opinions in difficult cases.

One of the infants is the daughter of a couple with AIDS from our area. Daisy has converted positive for aids and was critically ill when the parents brought her to the hospital last week. She was to be admitted to another hospital to initiate treatment for AIDS but the parents, at last minute, did not take her and she became gravely ill with intestinal infection. She has improved and we hope we can now have her transferred by ambulance to the Hospital where she will receive AIDS treatment. We will consult with Roberto, the Pediatric chief of the Unit on Monday.

Julianna, the other infant, remains critically ill and I was told that she may not make the night. Our Doctor in the Clinica Maxeña sent her Friday as an emergency with severe dehydration and fever. One of our workers took her to the hospital. She is on a Respirator and continues with fever, diarrhea and respiratory distress. Cell phones are a blessing here now as they do keep us connected with our patients. I will help the parents get her out of the hospital if she should die. I have asked our carpenter to make a small casket, as it is the weekend, and this will facilitate my avoiding the cost of going to a funeral home, which is very expensive. Here if the child is not taken out within twenty four hours after dying they will be buried in the local cemetery so one must prepare for the worst. Culturally this would be a major crisis for the family. The Beatitude "Blessed are the POOR for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven" is a PROMISE that will not be denied them! My Irish Faith helps me on difficult days as today!