Sick baby update–UPDATED

In this post I wrote about a baby for whose family I was interpreting at Riley Hospital for Children. The baby is back in the hospital as of today and will have a test tomorrow that requires a surgical incision and perhaps even a Kasai surgery to make a bile duct for him out of a piece of intestine.

Prayers for the best result possible would be appreciated–thank you!

UPDATE 12.29.08

Thanks for everyone’s prayers! Today went as well as it could have gone, granted the physical reality that had been hidden up to now from the physicians’ sight: the baby had a rare type of biliary atresia in which the gall bladder is present but the bile duct is not. A Kasai operation was necessary: the surgeon connected a part of the intestine directly to the liver so that bile could flow to where it needs to go.

The statistical breakdown of what happens next is roughly as follows: 50% of Kasai operations fail, and a liver transplant is required; 25% of Kasai operations succeed but a liver transplant is eventually required (can be many years later); and 25% of Kasai operations are good for life.

This family definitely has a tough row to hoe. Please join me in prayer that the Kasai operation is a success; it will take two weeks to know if this is the case. Then please also say a prayer for the long-term success of the operation and the health and happiness of this family.

As I have learned, serving as a medical interpreter can be quite serious business. Certainly, there have been many “My child has the sniffles” cases. But this past week I have interpreted at Riley Hospital for Children and the St. Vincent Stress Center (=mental hospital). I was in the neurological ward of Methodist Hospital yesterday and today as well, which handles many difficult cases, and saw a man with staples all across his forehead. He has brain cancer and just had a stroke.

Today at Riley, I greeted a woman in the elevator with a Riley name tag on and asked if she was a nurse. She said, “No, I’m a bereavement counselor. I’m about to do a pre-death counseling session with a family.” In other words, she was about to tell a family that their child was about to die. It was horrible to hear this. This wasn’t TV; this wasn’t the movies; this was a family about to hear the worst news in the world.

As an interpreter, I could someday be asked to interpret such a session; I have thought about it a lot. I pray that this cup may pass me by, but, more importantly, having observed so much pain and suffering over the years, I pray that the cup may pass everyone by. It’s a naive and childish prayer, but I still pray it.

  • Share/Bookmark

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.