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Who Is Comforting Who? – Angola Day 13

Comforting The Doctor


Last night I received an urgent call from our head nurse. Sónia, a girl of seven, was suffering worse respiratory distress. And suddenly, she began coughing up pus from the abscess in her neck. I was very familiar with Sónia, having admitted her four days earlier with severe cough, fever, and pneumonia. We have no culture abilities here at Lubango Evangelical Medical Center, so all antibiotic treatment is empirical –  aimed at the most probably causes rather than proven causes. We also have no ventilator support. So as Sónia’s eyes became distant and her breathing less frequent, I realized she was about to pass. Her father and mother were standing by, bracing for the inevitable. A couple of hours later I solemnly completed Sónia death certificate. Her father approached, and I apologized that we could not do more to save his daughter. He replied, “In godly conscience you did all your could. In this is great reward!”

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