There is no tragedy in life like the death of a child. Things never get back to the way they were.—US President Dwight D Eisenhower.
Last December, one Sunday, I was in Toronto visiting a celebrity. I had been planning to visit him for months, as it was important for some reasons. While I was on my way to Toronto my son called to say he is taking his mother to Credit Valley Hospital as one of his cousin MAK is admitted.
After ending my visit, on my way back I called my son to ask the situation. He said he is at Hospital and his cousin is in ICU, he does not know the situation. I knew MAK had some liver problems since infancy and was scheduled for a transplant. It was a sad situation but I had trust in the CV Hospital, A little after 9 PM my son called again and said that he has seen MAK now, and things are not looking good. Doctors are not hopeful, probably he will not survive. On the news I felt my heart sinking. As this kid was such a nice fellow, and I never expected a news like that for a young fellow of the age of my own children. For a few minutes I was perplexed what should I do.
At the time of the call, I was talking to another elder member of the family, who is also related to MAK. I abruptly cut the call and immediately rushed to the Hospital, with lot of pain and sorrow that something like that can happen.When I reached at Hospital, father of MAK came and hugged me and asked me to pray, I tried to pacify and assure him all will be well. He told me that he was at work, and he was called with info that MAK has passed out and they are taking him to the Hospital.
The details, I was given, by him and others were that MAK woke up late, discussed his plan for the day with his brother. They were supposed to gather for dinner at his uncle’s house. Tlaked about washing the car and went to shower. After a while, around noon, he was sitting on his bed and called his mother and said ” mom I am dying” and passed out. They called ambulance and he has not opened his eyes ever since. Doctors saying that there is internal bleeding.
Doctors permitted after 11 PM to see him. I was shocked to see the condition he was in. He was on life support, bleeding from. Nose, ears, face and abdomen was swollen. his tongue was swollen, hanging out of his lips. I talked to the doctor, he said MAK’s condition is due to internal bleeding. Once brought to the Hospital, he never opened his eyes.
In my opinion it appeared to be a case of drug poisioning. I asked his father, if his prescription was changed? He said no, then I asked him if his prescription was refilled recently. He said MAK was not taking any medicine. I was surprised at the answer, as I knew the secret, that he had some kind of lever problems since infancy and was on transplant wait list.
All evening several people kept coming, realtives, friends of MAK and his brothers. A big group of his father’s work colleague also came. After a couple came, the man is known as homeopath and natural healer. He started making conciliatory statements with father and mother of MAK. Both of them appeared to have great regards of the man. They considered him a spiritually elevated person, like a peer and were giving him a lot of respect. He demanded to see MAK. Soon after Doctors declared that they are going to take MAK for CT scan. Doctor was requested to allow the visit by the Healer. He went into the room and came out after a while. And declared that, “Nothing is going to happen now, God willing the boy will be OK, I have done things that nothing will happen to him, and he will be home by morning”. Considering the condition of MAK, I said to myself i hope that this “man of all hat and no cattle” may be true. As I did not want MAK to die, and was silently praying for his life.
While all this was going on MAK’s mother had a unusual way of handling the disaster, She insisted the visiting Healer to do some sort of incantation to improve his condition, as if he has some kind of supernatural powers. She was occasionally vociferating loudly with abrupt complaining to God. People around her had asked her repeatedly to quiet and pray, but the sorrow was so severe that she will have this spasmic bellow intermittently.
Doctors took MAK for CT scan, and declared that there are multiple ruptured arteries, and they are going to operate him to stop bleeding. However considering his condition, house surgeon have refused to operate. The hospital called for chief surgeon to come to operate and have asked for a new OR team for him. Chief Surgeon came and about 2 AM they took MAK to Operation Room.
Around 2:30 he was back from the OR, Doctors said operation was successful , they have stopped the main bleeding from spleen.but there are several minor bleeding, which they are unable to stop, and he will not survive another hour. All this was painfull and not understandable. Soon after Doctor on duty said all family members should be in the room as MAK’s blood pressure is falling and he may passed away any minute.
People gathered around him except his mother, some were praying, reciting various Sura from Quran. It was a heartbreaking experience, to watch a young man die in front of me. those not reciting Quran was crying. A little before 3 AM Doctors declared him dead and removed the breather. Every one was crying, one of his cousins was holding me tight and crying, it was very difficult to pacify her, while I myself was unable to stop tears. MAK’s mother was passed down and was taken to emergency room. But his father was holding on very bravely.
While I was sad, I was also very upset with the statement of the healer, luckily he was not around, I am afraid I might have lost my temper, and would have been created an unpleasant interaction. I was unable to comprehend what happened and several questions needed explanation, and still lingering in my head:
1. MAK was brought to the Hospital before 1:00 PM but CT Scan was not done untill midnight. Why they delayed finding the source of bleeding.
2. If there was a prescription change, then the new medicine might have caused the reaction.
3. If his prescription was filled recently then the medicine may be contaminated and should have been tested.
4. Why the cause of bleeding immediately and was not investigated even after his death.
5. Why Coroner was not called for autopsy.
Eight months have passed and I am still wondering about these questions, and perplexed with the actions of the Hospital staff. If I had any say I would have asked for Coroner’s investigation and testing of his prescription. I also found that few days after his death, MAK, s specialist called for his missed appointment. He was astonished, that nobody called him when MAK was admitted to the Hospital. Al that is avery confusing situation.
It is a tragedy which I hope no parent should experience. As Doctor Burton Greblin said “The death of a child is the single most traumatic event in medicine. To lose a child is to lose a piece of yourself.”. May Allah Bless this child’s soul.