16th December 2010. Leo’s birthday.
Three years ago he was born. Do you remember how funny he was?! Then he was taken for observation (…) at six pm he was already at ICU. We were still thinking positive then, remember? We thought it was only a short bad dream. (…) In the morning they told us, in the corridor, remember? They told us it was bad. And then. Do you remember? He fought for his breath all day. Brave one. We were full of hope. And then the worst night of our lives happened. He lost his fight… And then, THAT morning. Do you remember? …
Leoparents still remember THAT morning.
And they’ve decided to share the story with the world. As it’s been hurting them for too long now.
They don’t want to carry it any longer. It’s time to take the thorn out of their hearts, lose the burden, clear the air.
The night of 17/18 December, the Doctor woke up Leomom:
- He didn’t make it. We intubated him.
Early in the morning another information arrived.
- He turned off breathing. Completely. He doesn’t fight any longer. He’s 100% dependent on machines.
And we had no idea what it meant. What would come next? Was he going to lie like that forever?
Was he going to make it? There was no time for more explanations.
Terrified senseless Leomom called Leodad.
Leodad rushed to the hospital.
He went into the room where Leomom was in bed among other mothers and their babies.
With a breast pump.
The ward was quiet. Nothing was going on. Babies were sucking on their moms’ breasts.
Moms were dozing off. A lazy Saturday.
A petite nurse with a long plaid was on duty that day.
She came to the room where Leodad was comforting Leomom:
- You can’t be here. Visiting hours start at three. Please leave.
Other mothers took Leoparents’ side.
- But we don’t mind. Please, let them stay together.
- Visiting hours start at three, please leave the ward.
Leoparents went to the corridor. Nevermind.
- Visiting hours start at three, please leave the ward!
- Our baby is dying. Please, let us be together.
- Visiting hours start at three, please leave the ward! – like a robot that hanged.
- I was here all day yesterday. Also beyond visiting hours.
- If you don’t leave, I will call the security.
Leodad didn’t leave.
She called the security. A security guard came.
He split Leoparents apart.
Back then Leoparents were powerless.
Too weak to fight the thoughtless (or was it sadistic?) formalist.
They were paralysed by the fear for their baby. For the future.
And she knew perfectly well that she could do anything, as she had power.
And they had to back off, and humbly accept the wrongdoing.
But today they decided to settle the accounts, say it out loud.
Because this isn’t right. It can’t be that rules are more important than people, restrictions more important than feelings, three o’clock more important than a broken heart, that Ordnung muss sein.
As it doesn’t really have to be like that, it is a question of mere and only good will. Just a little bit of empathy.
Leoparents hope that this post will get through to the petite nurse with a long plaid.
And that it will stick to her. And that she will never ever do such thing again.
That a situation like this won’t happen again.
That no mother with a dying baby will be left alone because of a three o’clock rule.
Leo, December 18, 2010, 10:44 am