Saturday, November 20, 2010
Friends and Family,
I did mispell my lttle patient´s name in my last blog, if you read it. It is Valitoriano or lit´l VAL. They did not operate the second time on this infant,as mentioned. We opted to send him to city yesterday at dawn to Roosevelt Hospital and I made contact with a good friend and Chief of Pediatric surgery. His health was critical but he appeared stable. Unfortunately VAL died unexpectedly from a respiratory complication, within three hours, though surgery was anticipated.
Unfortunately retrieving him for chrisitan burial is difficult and expensive in Guatemala. It is most important in the Mayan Culture, and in any culture, to be able to bury your own.
One of our workers and the dad, who had gone in the ambulance from one hospital to the other when he went, were in the hospital when he died. Right away the process to bring him home began. We were not anticipating his death so we had not send our worker with sufficient money for this emergency but friends in city responded to our need. The problem began when they made his death, for whatever reason, a legal incident. Unfortunately also was that his final document referred to him as a female, another complication. Funeral Homes somehow got my number from the hospital and I was inudated with phone calls wanting our business. We do our own, THANK YOU! With a few more calls to friends I did get a funeral Home that helps the Pediatric Cancer Hospital at a very reasonalbe rate to help our worker with the very complicated legal process. The fact it was now a legal incident, more paper work, an autopsy, and more money were needed.
We had paid our town ambulance to meet and bring back the infants body and our workers. They finally left the city but without the body, after midnite. The mother has to go in tomorrow! The father has to provide a document that he is married to the mother, of course he was not carrying it, and also her presence required. Today I will get a document from hospital of the birth of Val in the National Hospital since the Father does not yet have a birth certificate. Tomorrow they will go in again, the parents and our worker, CHICO; and hopefully bring him home for burial. Accompanying this family until the burial of their son is important to us as CLINIC and as PASTORAL HEALTH of our church.
Reality is that for most of the people we serve, fear the hospital, especially when they are gravely ill. They prefer to die at home, and with reason. We hope we can get more of our patients to advise us when they send a family member to the hospital so we can accompany them and help them in decisions. This baby should have had emergency surgery at birth for an intestinal obstruction but the parents were
afraid to say yes and especially to send their infant to the city. We did not become aware of his condition until they brought him to the clinic nine days later in crisis.
Yesterday was my birthday! I was busy but perhaps it also made me more aware of the precisous gift of LIFE! I had a good birthday also!
Thank You for accompanying us in care of the Poor we serve in our parish clinic.
Donations to www.diocesehelena.org Mention for the Clinica Maxeña!
Posted by Sheila at 9:55 AM