4-months-old, pneumonia, respiratory failure, sepsis, and seizures. . . .
Early this morning (Sabbath) I was called to come look at a baby. This little one didn't look good. At all. And I quickly decided that I would take her into the hospital.
The young, wide-eyed parents came from across the river in Burma. Their 4-month-old little girl, Moo Suh Ghey, had been sick for a month now, but, for some reason or another, this was the first time they had been able to bring her for care. She looked small for four months and had loose, saggy skin, she wasn't eating, had a fever, extremely labored breathing, loose sagging skin, and anemia. . .
At the hospital they quickly directed us to the ER and wasted no time in having her intubated and breathing for her. They told me that she was in critical condition and would need to be transferred to the larger hospital in Maesot an hour and a half away.
The ambulance pulled up and we waited and waited, but if finally roared away sans the small patient. Soon they came to tell me that Moo Suh Ghey was in too critical condition for Maesot and would be taken to Chiang Mai instead. Now I should explain that Chiang Mai is about an 8 hour drive away. . . and the only time I've ever heard of them transferring a patient by ambulance to Chiang Mai was when Jabez was critical with SJS. . . and that was from Maesot, not Metta. Once again an ambulance rumbled up and swung wide its doors and once again we waited and waited and waited 'til once again the ambulance lit off on us. This time they told me that they couldn't take a patient this sick and the Metta hospital would keep her for awhile instead and see what would happen.
All this time someone was standing pumping a BVM over her as they wheeled her religiously back and forth between the ER and the x-ray department. After what felt like an eternity (Jabez certainly agreed!), our 3rd ambulance lumbered up and (another eternity later) they informed me that she was headed to Maesot after all! Then commenced the long wait 'til they were finally on their way.
(One of these days I will be brave and actually take a picture so you can see what a Thai ambulance looks like!)
I followed in the truck. The poor parents were overjoyed when I caught up with them just as they were stepping into the waiting room. They have never been to a city or a hospital before and I'm sure the whole day must have been traumatizing for them - minus their baby being so sick and all the tubes and machines sticking out of her. . . I wish I could have captured their wide-eyed innocence. They didn't so much as know how to open the truck doors and stood rather uncertainly in front of the stairs in the hospital trying to decide what such things were intended for. I made sure to escort them to the restrooms (in hopes of preventing another scene in front of the hospital), but when we found them locked the poor little mother just squatted down on the grass outside. . .
They soon had Moo Suh Ghey moved to the PICU and the nurse let me know that the Dx is pneumonia, respiratory failure, and sepsis, They have her on a ventilator and they were supposed to do a spinal tap this afternoon as she is having seizures as well.
Pray for little Moo Suh Ghey? And please also for grace for her little parents who look desperately tempted to flee back to their jungle. They are scared to be by themselves and had a hard time accepting that I had to leave tonight.
I ended up spending the night in Maesot as, conveniently enough, the truck lights went out on me as I headed home. I was so glad to be able to pop in again ans see how Moo Suh Ghey was doing this morning. They had her extubated and transferred to the pediatrics ward this morning. That may sound encouraging, but quite honestly all it really does is alarm me. She is gasping for every breath with severe retractions and is receiving very poor care in the ward. I lived in that same ward for longer than a week and I know exactly how neglectful and uncaring some of the staff can be (specifically to those they perceive as ignorant). . .
Let's keep praying!