Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Far Too Young

The unusual sounding family name on the screen rang bells, but I couldn't remember why. The call was for an inter-hospital transfer, so no clues from the address either. As we walked into the department with the trolley, as requested by the all knowing computer screen, we saw the critical transfer bag sitting innocently near one of the rooms.

She was lying on the bed, barely conscious. Her dad was sat next to her, his eyes filled with sadness. The type of sadness and fear a parent tries to hide from their child, but can't.

As soon as I saw them, the name fell into place. They were an amazing family who I'd met a couple of times before, and she was always there to help with whatever we on the ambulance or her parents asked her to do.

Once, I'd delivered one of her siblings, and she ran around bringing towels and looking after the other little kids.

Calm, unflustered, more mature than her tender years. Far younger than she acted.

Once, I'd taken one of her siblings to hospital after an accident involving a trampoline left their arm in pieces, and she ran around gathering clothes and bottles.

Responsible, obedient, respectful. Far younger than she behaved.

And this time, I was transferring her.

Taking her to where they might be able to do something.

A last, lost hope.

In reality, it'll probably be the place where she'll live out the last few days of her terminal illness.

She'd been diagnosed a week before.

Far too young, at eight years old.


nickopotamus said...

The ominous critical care transfer bag. It's one of those jobs where being there for the family is almost more important than for the patient :(

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I wonder how you do the job that you do.

Anonymous said...

I'll keep her and her family in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

I just got the shivers reading that. Puts a lot of stuff into perspective. Dr Abuse

MarkUK said...


I'm sure you gave her the best ride you could, IM.

They say only the good die young - not much consolation.

BreakandBlossom said...

What a terrible thing. What a sad and terrible thing, it brings tears to my eyes as I have sister almost the same age.
I hope to make the final days of people's lives happier with my voluntary work at a hospice. You write very well.