My phone rings. It's Hilary. I answer it, "Hey hun, what's up?"
"David, how much money do we have in the bank?" she says frantically.
"I don't know off hand, I'll have to check...Why?" I reply, slightly nervous about what my wife has planned to spend our money on.
She blurts out "I hate the public hospital! Do you remember that patient that we referred to them on the 6th?" "Yes." I say, just to keep the conversation going. "Well do you know what they did? They sent her home! She needs to be induced or her baby is going to die!" I am silent, so she continues. "She came back to the clinic, we checked the heart beat and we sent her back to the public hospital. Again she was not accepted. She then went to the second public hospital. They sent her with a note back to the first public hospital. Doc was informed that we were sending her back again as she is out of our scope and requires hospital care, and do you know what they did?"
I know the answer already, this is not a new situation for us to be in, but to keep the flow moving, I reply "No, what?" She yells "They sent her back to us again! Three times they have sent her back! Almost two weeks past her due date with a terrible fetal heart beat and no signs of labor. They said they can't do anything because the baby is fine, she is not in labor and they are full. They told the patient that if she wants to be induced we should take her to a private hospital instead!" I reply "That's terrible."
On September 12th, 6 days after the patient was originally referred to the hospital, the patient came back to the clinic in tears, worried about her baby. The baby's vital signs were troublesome on the 6th, and now they are much worse. Immediate action has to be taken or this baby will die. Even if we do take action, there is a chance that the baby will still not make it.
"David, the baby will die if we don't do something. Can we afford to put her in the private hospital?"
Life is filled with choices. I make choices everyday. I choose what shirt to wear with what pants (I'm colorblind so this choice can be dreadful at times). I choose if I have time for breakfast or if I can only afford the time to grab a granola bar and run out the door. I choose what projects I will work on: will I focus on my startup or will I focus on our charity. I also make choices about people's lives. Not just their lives as in *this will effect them*. I mean that I choose if they will live or die. I've been choosing these type of things for 10 years now. I thought it would get easier over time, or maybe I wouldn't have to face these choices anymore – it hasn't gotten easier and I am still choosing.
"Do what you need to do." "Yes, let's save a life today!" "Do we really have a choice? Admit the patient." "Okay, I'll figure out a way to cover it." "We really don't have any budget right now." "I am sorry but we can't right now, we don't have the money." – these are some of my answers to this question throughout the years. These choices are etched into my memory, and I can recall all of the situations and most especially the outcomes that we lost. I said yes to baby James, but in spite of that we lost him. I said no to one young boy and then yes a few days later when we had funds and we lost him. I said yes to sweet baby Hannah and we lost her a few days later. In an ideal situation we would save them all, and hopefully no one would have to make the hard choice, rather the obvious choice that every one deserves the chance of life.
I took a deep breath, knowing full well the balance of Glory Reborn's bank accounts wouldn't cover all of the next month's operating costs and this procedure. In a hurried exhale as if I didn't get it out quickly I would change my mind I stated: "Yes, just do it." Hilary hung up the phone, forgetting to even say bye as she was in the *Save A Life Zone*. I stared blankly at the pixels on my phone's screen wondering about these choices of life.
A couple of hours later I called Hilary to check on the outcome. The mom had to undergo an emergency C-Section and the baby's vitals were not well, so he was admitting into the Neonatal ICU. I would be lying if I said that this news didn't make my stomach drop as I worried about how much this was going to cost, but how can I put a cost on the value of a life? What if it were my wife and baby in this situation and their lives depending on someone making a similar choice?
I hope that everyone faced with this choice would choose life. Both the mom and baby are doing well as of today September 13th. We hope that this amazing baby boy will be out of NICU tonight and that they will be discharged from the hospital in a few days. During the C-Section we found out that the baby had 3 tight cord coils around his leg and very minimal fluid inside the water bag. These were the factors causing the problems with the heartbeat that we saw on the monitor days before. In this case, I made a choice in spite of the resources. The family has raised around $400 to cover some of the cost, which is truly amazing! By donating to this situation, even small amounts, you will make a difference! And I'd ask if you could choose to save a life with us today?
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