Friday, April 16, 2010

"Doctor the patient has gone off"

When I hear a nurse on the other end of the phone say "the patient has gone off," I cringe on the inside. Where this phrase came from, I don't know. But it means the patient is coding - no heart beat and no respiratory effort, so the patient is dead or close to it. In our hospital, a pt who is going off has very little hope of making it. But they call us and so we go. We go and attempt to bring life back to a lifeless body and comfort a grieving family.
Tonight they call and initially all I hear was loud wailing in the background. I barely made out the nurse saying 27 is going off. It took me a few seconds to figure out which nurse was calling and which ward she was calling from. As I am driving down it hits me who A27 is - Jeremiah. My little hepatic abscess kid who had looked so good one week ago and was almost ready to go home, had now gotten to the point of going off. This wasn't good. I had seen him earlier in the day and had drained some fluid off his abdomen. He looked bad and despite his liver infection getting better, he was getting worse despite all our efforts.
There was nothing I could do for Jeremiah when I got there, he had passed, so I am left with
trying to comfort, but how do you comfort when you too are hurting. I hugged the mom, dad, and uncle, who I had talked to and prayed with numerous times in the past 3 wks, but what could I say. Sorry is about all I could manage, as this boy had worked his way into my heart, and now it was aching. This little boy, with a cute smile, who was only sick for 3 wks is now no longer here. The boy who almost died initially when he was admitted because he was so sick, but who God saved and restored to life who was standing and smiling with his mom just a week ago, is now dead. This little boy who just today smiled at me when I was seeing him on rounds, will smile no longer. This little boy who told me he knew Jesus is now with Jesus, the true comforter and healer.
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." 2 Cor 1:3-4