Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, or PICU. When you spend some time there you are afforded an opportunity to observe so much happening around you.
Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.
William Arthur Ward
In one bed is a teenaged boy of an age I can’t determine. He is a twin. BOTH twins have severe cerebal palsy and have a wasted appearance. The boy in the bed “forgets” to breath so is ventilated. Because of his condition he also cannot communicate excpet through a book. At home he uses his nose and an iPad. His twin is wheelchair bound and in a similar condition however he responds, communicates and is cheeky.
The mother, the father are devoted, as are his twin university aged sisters and yet another married sister. They share his care and he is rarely without someone by his bedside. In this family is also an older boy with the same condition, but not as severe as these twins.
In another bed is an 8 year old girl. Last Sunday during his access time, her father gave methylated spirits to her and her two younger brothers to light a fire. This young girl has severe burns to her face, even inside an eye and on both legs and arms. Yesterday they took her into surgery to debride the dead skin. Her father emailled the mother and told her she had mild burns. The father only took her to the hospital an hour after the burn occurred. Her mother only found out she was in intensive care 2 hours later when the hospital called her.
A 15 month old boy “drowned” and was brain dead for some time two Sunday’s ago. He cannot breathe independently and staff are working to determine what brain function he has left.
We have been there some time, yet I am grateful. Small steps moving forward. Firstly we live in a country where we have access to the level of medical expertise to meet whatever needs arise. Not always wants but certainly needs. There are dedicated people who study and search and seek out the knowledge and skills needed. If it is not available here, they search overseas for the information, skills and personnel with experience.
Secondly, that such dedicated and devoted people exist to endure an environment so fraught with emotion and physical pain and gently and with close observation and compassion, work through the hard and necessary things to move people forward back into health where possible.
I, for one, am grateful.