Nearly two weeks ago, I vaguely remember the events of my love's hospitalization. The dreaded stomach flu/traveler's sickness/ torture in the bowels, always begins with the distinct realm of mild discomfort. It slowly grows, depending on which type of dreaded sickness is upon the victim. It hit my love nearly two weeks ago on a Friday night. Whether the feared stomach enemy is upon you or not, one always hopes for the best possible outcome but embraces for the worst. There is no part of this experience that is memorable for any positive recollection and one can only hope that they scrape by the experience with all of their digestive portions intact. My poor love was stricken with it around 600pm in the evening, with denial setting in for the majority of the night. When I found her in the wee small hours of Saturday morning, I knew that it wasn't going to be a fun day for her, and we quickly rushed her over to the local ghetto hospital. The local private clinic was closed and we were forced to use the public system, for which we had not experienced before, adding anxiety to our list of morning emotions. We made short walks over to the emergency department, stopping along the way so my love could catch her breath. Thankfully within a few minutes, the security staff at the hospital realized that a white girl trying to get into the hospital warranted some attention and one staff quickly flew over to us with a rusted out wheelchair that had clearly been used before 1954. She was wheeled directly into initial observation and assessment while I began to worry, full stop. My daughter was back at the house with one of our security staff's wife and I began to worry. She was assessed and placed into Emergency department's critical ward for observation and treatment.
The morning drew on with frequent trips to and from our home in the compound to watch over my daughter and runs to the pharmacy to buy supplies for my love. In this country, if you don't have money to get medicine, care, or even in the front door, you die on the steps or in the gutter. There is no other way around this clear and present danger. If one does not possess the material funds to pay the s/.7 soles, ($2.15USD), one can pick the body up after he has died outside the entrance of the hospital, without any concern from local health care professionals. These tragic incidents have occurred on frequent occasions here in Ventanilla. Advocacy for local marginalized families or individuals is rare.
Thankfully, I was able to dash across the street from the hospital to buy my love's IV bag, solution, needles, and medicines to treat her digestive infection. She laid there, in that typical dreaded digestive infection position with her pale face drawn thin and waiting for healing to arrive. I am so glad that I was able to be there with her, to comfort her, and to pray for her.
Unfortunately, in the next bed over, with no drawn curtains to separate the living from the dead, a 30 year old woman died during the hours that my love was getting treated. This 30 year old girl, had the death rattle, her IV bottle drip had emptied, and her face grew lifeless as the hours ticked by. Upon arrival, I had seen her stir slowly, but as the morning wore, death drew near. She had no family nearby, fortunately, upon arrival to the hospital, she was able to pay the $2.15 USD to get in the door to get treated, then paid $3.53 USD for the first bottle of IV drip, needle, and tubing. However, that was all she could afford for treatment. While my love slowly recovered, I watched this other precious girl be ripped from this earth. It was not a pleasant experience for any of us. I prayed for her, and hoped for help. What could I do? Do I help? Do I pay for the next bottle of IV fluids ? Do I run across the street to get her medical supplies? What is this injustice ? How can I sit here and let her die because she didn't have $3.53 USD. This was extremely horrific to sit and ask myself these questions. How far do I help ? Until what day do I help and then say, no more ?
As I watched this girl fade away into the twilight seconds of life into death, I wrestled in my spirit with the insensitive of our global community. My trust and belief in the heart of the human race dipped below respect in this moment. Its another stinging reality that slaps me in the face that while I watch my wife recover and walk out in health and comfort, I watch a young girl die because she couldn't scratch up $3.53 USD.
Was this my fault ? Was I there to pay that dollar but my heart was cold ? Did I allow her to die ? Was that my purpose to be in that hospital that morning ? My heart is still stinging and I am full of grief.
Oh Jesus, take my pain away and forgive me for my lack of love. I truly am just like the rest of the wealthy people that hoard their money for themselves and turn the other way and ignore the cries of the wounded. I am no better. God help me to become more like you want me to.