Friday, April 15, 2011

Two days at Bloom

Hospital Benjamin Bloom is the national pediatric hospital of El Salvador, and I've spent a lot of time there over the last two days. Yesterday I brought Sandra and her grandma in, all of us expecting that she would have surgery for one of her congenital cataracts - but, as it turned out, she has an eye infection, and the surgery was rescheduled for two weeks while she uses antibiotic drops.

Today I gave Richard and his mother Maria a ride to their appointment with the Bloom cardiologist who will perform his valve replacement surgery (that's Maria and Richard in the photo). We met Richard during our General Medical Mission in San Rafael Cedros, and people from our mission team are contributing to a fund to purchase his heart valve. We are what Richard's loving mother has been praying and hoping for: a way for her 3 year old son to be able to run and play and have a normal life.

While I was sitting with Richard and Maria, I got a call from Sonia telling me that she was at the Bloom with her daughter Gema, who was going through a lupus crisis. We connected in the emergency room and spent some time together. And I decided that I would have a hard time working in a pediatric hospital - it's hard to see children in pain, children curled up with no energy, children looking old and worn.

Bloom is an amazing hospital - they do a lot of great work with little money, and the care for kids is visible everywhere. Still, it's hard for someone from the U.S.A. to understand that Richard and Sandra will get their surgeries only because we are able to provide the heart valve and the interocular lens. I thought today about all the children, probably some of them in front of me, who didn't have that kind of help.

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