Some stories hurt and make you wonder...
"Linda" is well-loved by her family, friends and co-workers. Almost everyone who knows her knows she and her husband yearned to have children. But over the years, the expected event never mateialized.
Finally, at the age of 40, Linda became pregnant. A first-time mother at that age is obviously a special case and with gestational diabetes a factor, even more so. Her doctor owned a sonogram machine and every month, Linda and her husband would see their baby, growing, moving, breathing.
Linda cut back on work and travel, ate carefully-selected meals and prepared herself for the arrival of her long-awaited baby, thankfully full-term. On a sunny afternoon, Linda started feeling sharp pains, violent slashes through her abdomen. Alarmed, she called her husband and they went to the hospital.
Within minutes, Linda was under the care of nurses who undertook another sonogram, only to discover that the baby didn't seem to be breathing. The nurses called Linda's doctor at around 7:00 p.m. to tell him there seemed to be a problem with Linda's baby. The doctor told the nurses he would see Linda in the morning. The nurses told Linda and her husband the doctor would check on their baby the next day.
By the time the doctor arrived at 8:00 a.m. and started making his rounds, Linda's baby was dead. At 22 inches in length, it was determined that the baby was 3 weeks overdue. Three weeks, despite monthly sonograms to ascertain weight and growth. Linda was told her baby was dead during the night and waited until 3:00 p.m. for her doctor to see her.
At which point he told her that he preferred she push the baby out rather than do a Caesarian. Linda, too weak and heart-broken to make the effort of pushing a corpse, underwent a C-section that evening, her expected day of joy one of unbelievable grief.
As noted before, doctors are leaving the Island in droves and amongst the specialties most affected is obstetrics. Some OB-GYN specialists are tending to 40-50 births a week. What can be tolerable in the short-term quickly becomes deadly in the long-term.
Why didn't Linda's doctor go to her that evening, when the obvious problem was reported?
Why didn't the nurses, who loudly proclaimed "We called the doctor. We did our jobs." insist on finding another doctor to tend to an obviously-agonizing mother and child?
How did Linda's doctor miss the obvious signs of the baby's development, especially when monthly sonograms were available for close monitoring of its progress?
Are We facing an exodus of the excellent, the good and the opportunistic doctors only to be left with being treated by the remaining overwhelmed excellent doctors, the swamped good ones and the increasingly-dangerous mediocre and bad charlatans?
Questions We can--and must--ask, but no question can now bring back what has been Linda's desire of the heart for so very long. Her baby--her ill-treated baby--is gone. And nobody will be able--or be willing--to do anything useful about it.
In the words of Linda Ellerbee: And so it goes.
The Jenius Has Spoken.