A heart-touching personal tribute from a Papua New Guinea Medical Doctor.
AN EMPTY BED, A SHATTERED HOPE - FROM THE HEART OF A PAPUA NEW GUINEA DOCTOR
As the door cracked opened, I lazily turned around to see who could have budged in without a knock on the door for I had just returned a minute or two after the usual ward rounds seeing a total of 104 patients (from 6 wards -full house).
Anyway, the intruder was a male nurse assigned to ward one who seemed to be in a hurry, but well-mannered at this juncture, trying to keep his cool. At the first glance of him, I quickly concluded from his body gesture that something was not right!
He looked afraid, disturbed and distraught! Before he spoke, I quickly snatched in " Is everything okay?", whilst still maintaining a level eye on him. He momentarily looked towards me then on the floor and in a soft-concerned tone he whispered " Boro must have passed out, we need you immediately!".
Wait! What?! No! It can't be Boro! I have singlehandedly worked my heart out to ensure he gets well and go home! My heart was momentarily frozen, I opened my mouth but cannot utter a thing or two! I have feared this very moment, eventhough I assume confidence and positive assurance to him and his relatives! Yes, I look after a 100+ patients, but this person is so dear to me!
I left everything on the table and ran out off door, as if I was trying to catch the wind! My heart knew the metaphoric thought is somewhat real. I knew I was trying to catch the wind, and the chances to achieve it nothing but theoreotically zero!
As I reached the motionless body, my strength suddenly weaned off! I knew he was already gone, even before I started attempting anything! I quickly stepped onto this old-corrugated iron bed and let out my energy onto the chest, whilst checking on his pulse to ascertain any sign of life! But alas, the undeniable outcome is real! Boro was lifeless, he was death!
I reluctantly look towards his brother, who by now had realized in his laymen language the inevitable truth - a truth that cannot be concealed on the face of the doctor! He knew what had appeared a mumbled to myself, that his dear brother had gone! Gone away from a place so full of pain and suffering! He finally found peace, for only heaven knows.
I slowly walked towards the brother and hugged him, my heart was wrecked! This forefront makeshift household machinery that had once stood as emblem of hope and faith, would now be an empty bed.
As I twisted around, lo and behold to the rear end of the bed lies the wooden crutches that was made of plain wood from the forest, of which I have personally advised the carpenter to add technical touches to it hoping that Boro would soon be using it to mobilise and hopefully be discharged.
The crutches look beautiful in its modification, a beauty ready for the bride to adore it. But sadly, it would maintain its innocence because it can no longer to put to use by its rightful owner! How sad...
I instantly felt a grip of pain stabbing my heart, and right on I knew Boro was an extraordinary patient to me. I stood with the family, recalling times where he promised me he would bring me a bag of peanut when he return home after being discharged!
I was so happy for his progress, and my heart lit up when I hear this from him as it was something on a positive note. But now, it is clear all those promises would not be true - not from him! I may someday walk this miles you have trod to reach me, and I know you will be somewhere up there feeling happy that I had finally come to your homeland. But it breaks my heart, that I will not see you!
Being awakened of my emotional state, I couldn't help but walked away slowly to the nurses station, and as per the protocol, I filled the death certificate.
I knew I had given my best. But I also understand that sometimes ones best when measured against mortal ideals, it still may remain wanting when nature take its toll otherwise.
Only God knows why...
Boro, my bretheren from the innermost fringe of Finschhafen, the sun had turned its beam against us! And fate has taken you to someplace where mortals are restricted entrance! But don't you forget that you were a star! So shine there where you are because even when it's dark, that's where stars emit their radiance the most!
#GoneButNotForgotten#LateBoro R.I.P until that golden morning#PersonalTribute#