A day in the emergency department

Drama, grief and comfort

On Thursday thirty patients came to the A+E.  Their diagnoses were as multi-faceted as a medical textbook.  Among them were a young woman with acute leukaemia and an old Quechua-Indian with neural cystericosis (i.e. cysts are being formed in the brain).  One man was suffering from diabetes that was totally out of control and at some point two victims of a motorbike accident were lying on stretchers, both of whom were not wearing helmets.  Not to forget an elderly lady with an acute pneumonia.  30 fates.  Almost all of them had travelled a long way to get to the missionary hospital.  They were all admitted, treated and some of them have already returned home.

And at some point that evening the last patient was sitting on the chair talking about her suffering.  The Indian and her daughter had endured the ten-hour journey from Puno.  A large part of her liver was decomposed by tumour masses (see computer picture on the right).  She had no chance of healing.  Dr Martina John gave her a combination of medication in order to alleviate the final part of her earthly journey.  The missionary doctor also spoke of life and death, the reality of Heaven and the hope that carries us Christians.  Everyone present closed their eyes to pray.  Comfort in the darkest hours walking through the valley of tears.  At Diospi Suyana we firmly believe in this other dimension – in which God rules. /KDJ