The picture shows Nanhe on his nth visit to the hospital. It is no mean task for a child who cannot walk, is incontinent, is in pain and never complains.
For the past two months come monday and the trio of Nanhe, his mom and Meena our staffer, sets off in the cold or rain to the hospital located a few kilometers away. In the afternoon the trio comes back, and whereas the adults frown or complain, Nanhe smiles on.. the scenario is repeated the next friday and so on. Sometimes another test is needed, sometimes an xray has to be redone.. and the date for the much needed surgery to put an end to the excruciating pain of one suffering from multiple calculi seems as elusive as the scarlet pimpernel.
No I should not be complaining. A recent press report revealed that the waiting time for surgery in India's capital city's only state hospital for children was four years resulting in parents having to find resources to take their children to private hospitals, here it has only been two months.
Nanhe needs another test that cannot be done in Safdarjung Hopsital. The doctor scribbled a referral on his green card, and the trio set out to AIIMS but to our utter horror no one could figure out what was written. By the time they had finished their rounds in search of information, poor nanhe in tow, public dealing time was up. Come again tomorrow..
Enough is enough, today a senior staffer will go to the hospital and find out the exact name of all the tests required and the name of a private lab that the hospital endorses and we will get all the tests done.
But that is not the answer because every hurting child does not have a pwhy like support. Parents have meagre resources that soon dry out. In a case like Nanhe who cannot travel by bus, each trip is costly and then even caring parents give up on a child who is not even an investment in ones' future: remember nanhe is severly retarded..
But does one give up on a smile like nanhe's...