A stranger in a strange place
I would like to share on a little something in my ward.
Next to Isabella's bed, there is a little girl 2 years plus with her mother. They are Caucasian and I'm guessing from the accents that they might be American.
She was travelling with her baby and mother to Singapore. They were transitting in KLIA when her daughter who was born premature at 26 weeks, developped fit in the aeorplane. Thus was brought to hospital Putrajaya.
Lastnight, her 2 years old girl, she called Tessa had few episodes of fit. They were in acute bed next to Isabella. As I was busy with my baby, I only summarized the story from what I hear between her and the nurses. While I was having a dinner, I heard the nurses struggling to explain the hospital visiting hours rules to her. So I stopped eating and voluntered to be the translator. Tessa mother was so relieved as she couldn't get the nurse.
She asked the nurses where can she get nappies for Tessa at 10 p.m. She only have the clothes on her back. They said the shop downstairs were all close. Nobody tried to offer her some help. She didn't ask. She just told them in a matter of fact way. She has only dolars.
So I asked the nurses to collect few pampers from other patients with the similar size to tessa for tonight. Told them to get 3. She wanted to give her dollars but I told her to keep it.
She was such a brave person being in a strange place alone with her sick baby. Her luggages were all being sent to Singapore as she missed her flight. She was quiet and brave. That is the only thing to keep her together. She cannot break down I know.
This morning, I went to check on her if she needed anything so she said, she doesn't have anything at all.
No luggage no toothbrush no nothing.
I asked,'What do you need? Tell me and I can help you'.
I remembered when I was lost in moscow alone in the 2nd year of med school and i had no money to pay for the bus ride, a young Russian guy gave paid for my ride. i wanted to give him dollars but he refused. I was so thankful.
If not, i wouldn't be able to find my way back with my Russian being still weak at that time.
I suggested Tessa's mom to get some essentials from downstairs and
I can accompany Tessa as Isabella is sleeping right now.
She started crying for the first time since admission. I know how she feel being in a strange place with nobody to help and support her and having nothing with her. All that she has is her sick little girl.
Being away from home will give you a lot of experiences.
Then I added,'But you don't have any Ringgit with you right?'
She said she has Dollars.
Never mind, keep your dollars take this 50 ringgit. It is not much but you can get diapers, some food and toothbrush, things you need.
She said,'No i can't do that'.
Yes you can. We mothers have to brave out everything for our children so we might as well help each other. I really understand how you feel.
If I am somewhere far away from home, I need this too.
She broke down hugging her frail little girl in her arms, rocking thin Tessa on the sofa.
Tessa is almost 3 years old but she can't sit straight or talk yet. She was born very premature at 26 weeks and has been in and out of the hospitals since birth.
The last time she was admitted was in June so her mom decided to take her for a vacation and the doctor supported her decision.
But this happened. I could see her guilt. It was not her fault. She wanted to show her baby something other than the hospital they had been stucked in for month.
My friend's (Dr Zaty's friend) who is a doctor as well, and in the ward as her son is currently admitted for prolonged fever came to Isabella's bed. She caught up with the stories and both of us felt sorry for Tessa's mom.
She volunteered to accompany Tessa's mom to the shop below and how Tessa's mom was so grateful and relieved.
Tessa who was fasting for a whole day of yesterday, can now be allowed to take food. However she can only eat porridge and soft diet. They are serving bread today for breakfast.
So Tessa has no milk or anything to eat. Poor dear. I imagine how I felt when Isabella has to fast lastnight.
So my friend arranged for a houseman to go get some purree, bottle, formula milk later on after his shift is over.
She also asked the nurses to work out on anything for Tessa. They remembered that they can get Nestum downstairs.
Back from The shop, Tessa's mom giving me the balance RM10. I said,'you keep it'.
I gave her more.
She said,'No i can't. I don't have anything to give you' sobbing.
I don't need anything. This is my home and I have everything that I need here.
So you keep it.
Tears flowing her cheeks and she placed her hand on her chest.
Thank you so much.
P/s: sometimes when we see foreigners in our country, don't think that they have it all. Instead of giving suggestions, try to lend a hand. I have always been nosy whenever I see this kind of situation. I had been there and I will be there again as i travel a lot . Everytime, i always find a stranger giving her time to show me the way. I call it karma. A little kindness for a stranger is all that it takes.