Yesterday, a child of our institution passed away…
A month ago, I started fulfilling my social services in a nursing institution. Most of the service user in this institution is quite old. Some of them are even old enough to be a grandmother or grandfather. Yet we still called them children among since most of their mental age did not exceed ten years old.
Since I am an occupational therapist, I was dispatched to the rehabilitation sector. I provided rehabilitation services for children with severe disabilities. Therefore, I need to keep constant contacts with their first-line caregiver. Although the caregiver is much senior than me, she respected my rehabilitation expertise and we became friends. Today she told me that, yesterday night, a child of her sector had passed away.
It happened from the very beginning of the yesterday. In the morning, the child threw up a lot of yellow liquid for no particular reason. The caregiver worried about her stomach, therefore start fasting. A few hours later, one doctor came in, yet he did not found anything suspicious. He advised a constant surveillance. Another few hours later, in the afternoon, another doctor came to see other children. Under the caregiver’s asking, the doctor check out this child also. However, did not found anything particular either. He also advised a constant surveillance. This child then rest on her bed. The caregiver and her team did as the doctor said. Although she doesn't look well, there doesn't seem to be anything wrong. However, in the night, without any signs, the child threw up again and vomit brown liquid. The institution immediately called the ambulance. Unfortunately, she passed away before the car arrived at the hospital.
The caregiver told me that she have been working in this institution for sixteen years and his child is the eleventh person that passed away on her watch since she entered the institution. No matter how many times she had been through, watching a life leaving is still shocking and sorrowful. She had been taking care of this child ever since she entered this institution. She had done everything she could, yet now she still regretted that if only she could do something more.
After the incident, the child’s family soon came to the hospital and planned for the funeral. The family did not tend to blame the institution. For sixteen years, the family had never came to visit her. The institution seems to be more like a home to the child. Now she rest in peace without prolong suffering. Perhaps this was not a tragedy for the child. Perhaps this was not a tragedy for the family either. Yet for those who take care of her, the lost is heartbreaking.