One night in July:
I had come to the hospital to evaluate a young mother with appendicitis. After finishing in the ER I walked into Labor & Delivery to check in before going home to bed. I peeked in the nursery. The Baby of M is having apnic spells. The child is already on 2 IV antibiotics, IV fluids, and medications to stimulate breathing. His mom is gently rubbing his jaundiced hand as the photo light casts a blue glow on his tiny body. The bag and mask sits near the warmer ready for use. My heart sinks. What more can we do? It’s an all to familiar story in PNG. Respirations go down and we slowly lose the child. Of all the things I saw and did today this got to me the most. Not the 2 C-sections with floppy kids that turned up all right or the multiple broken bones or lacerations. Even the hand amputation I took in stride but looking at a little helpless child in a nursery warmer breaks my heart. What more can I do? Pray. And so we did. I left the nursery with a grateful mother who knows we are doing all we can and that we care. A mother who knows we do our jobs because we love Christ. As I walk home through the cool night air many questions race through my brain.
This morning as I rounded on Pediatrics, bed 9 was empty, the little 7 day old child had died in the night. Bed 29 had an episode of respiratory arrest in the early hours of the morning. Her situation is guarded Does our work matter? We keep losing patients. But as I looked down the Ward there were many more kids who were improving. Some were going home today healed. Its easy to get down with the losses but without Nazarene General Hospital and its staff many more would die. And so one week ends and a new one begins.