My son recently had a heart defect repaired through the kindness and generosity of pediatric cardiologist, Dr M. Ebeid.
Wendy Fitzwilliam can be proud to have her name associated with the Pediatrics Dept at EWMSC. Mostly.
At a time when nurses and doctors in the public healthcare system are warring with the Gov’t, the nurses and doctors dealing with the kids in the system at Mt Hope are kind, calm and professional in carrying out their duties. The rank and file workers – luck of the draw on that one.
Like the escort who showed up at 7am and “coming back in 10 minutes” because he need his “corfee dis early morning”, and NEVER returned for the 5 anxious children who had been told to get ready for 6am, and most of whom were ready WAY before that despite fitful sleep the night before… That is how pressure does build up…
Especially following the preceding 24 hours we shared.
When certain parents (Lord Jesus please bless them) decide to bring “d village” to visit, in a space where 2 parents could barely fit, and where we had previously been expressly forbidden from bringing guests.
When said parents kept telling their toddler what I can only describe as foolishness (albeit well-intended foolishness) so she learned to trust not a word they told her and instead resorted to screaming at the top of her lungs (I now know exactly what that term means) despite being given a healthy dose of sedatives to calm her down. She screamed through any effect the sedatives were supposed to have, even while other children tried to rest and recover in beds literally 2 feet away.
Lord Jesus I know it could only have been you that prevented my thoughts from becoming words when, at midnight, said parents peeped through the curtains separating us to see if I was sleeping, and looking for company and conversation despite me clearly trying to help my boy pee in a bedpan. At midnight.
And Father it could only have been you that prevented riot from the 3 parents of sleeping children who were forced into wakefulness by these same parents who succeeded in drawing their OTHER neighbour into conversation, much the same way they tried to draw me in. These children of yours proceeded for hours to discuss whey dey from, who dey know, who have how much money, and what a light to the world their little screaming bundle of joy is.
I am grateful for the efforts of the nurse who felt prompted to draw the curtains in a bid to “break up this reunion”. It didn’t work though. Without missing a beat, we then had to hear about what parts of their bodies “sleep away” and how their back and neck hurtin because the chairs too uncomfortable, and impossible to sleep in. Which we could all agree with, but which the rest of us were trying to work with anyway.
I am grateful too for nurses Marcia, Tracy, Niraj and Ayanna. There were others, but these in particular brought calm and even laughter to scared kids and made all the difference in the world. I will never forget them.
I will never forget the doctors, the anesthetists and the technicians who worked with my boy to repair the defect in his heart. I know at least 1 anesthetist has learned a little bit about Asperger’s and that there’s a hard way and an easy way (in that order). I know that hospital policy had nothing to do with how many times he checked in on Matt to see how he was doing.
I NEVER would have guessed while in Mrs Olton’s class that her son would one day be involved in operating on my son…
I will never be able to express my gratitude properly to the doctor who comes from the US to give of his time (and more) to make these operations happen for a few kids year after year.
To Ika – I hope your little boy never needs this surgery. But on the off chance that he does… I know you’ll be in good hands.
To the parents who have to return because their operations were diagnostic or needed other special equipment… I wish you luck (and better rest this time around) and your kids speedy recoveries.
To those who have never visited the JBF ward where the pediatric cancer patients are warded… you should know that the Just Because Foundation does very important work in making the lives of the kids and their parents just a little easier. If you want to be part of a solution, and don’t know what to do, do this. Check the group – donate of your time, your money, your love. http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=6553807334
I never knew there were so many children left alone on the wards at Mt Hope. Infants in cribs, toddlers who are too sick to play except to climb into a lone wheelchair and maneuvre themselves around a playroom, older ones dragging their little IV stands around. No mothers to hug and soothe and watch over them. Only nurses to love and care for them, when their schedules allow them to squeeze in some mothering time.
Heartbreaking to watch mothers who cannot, for whatever reason, stay with their kids and can only come to visit. To watch them leave… and to watch little hearts break when they do… Amazing to see the love that pours out from the nurses when they do.
Amazing too to see mothers trying to make a home for themselves in a place like this – grating carrots and beets to make fresh juices for their kids “to get the blood counts up!” To hear bedtime stories and lullabies across the way. To listen to mothers who care, homeschooling right there in the hospital…
I think that mothering instinct is strong in some. Others perhaps are motivated in turn by their efforts. But I know that it must be a lot easier to let the mothering happen in a space like this – with a playroom for the kids, a tiny but clean and comfortable dining space (& kitchenette) for families, and a decent bathroom/shower for the parents.
And nurses and doctors who seem truly interested in the patients in their care.
Thanks again to everyone who sent love and prayers and support. My phone battery was completely losing its charge within 2-3 hrs and I kept having to sneak a charge where I could (I’m amazed nobody boof mih). It was clearly allergic to the hospital because Tuesday night’s charge is still holding.
Matt is catching up on rest and being back in his surroundings and we’re taking it one day at a time.
Seriously. Please check out the Just Because Foundation and see how you can help, even in some small way. http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=6553807334