Chapter 3 – Patients
When he entered the hospital’s main door, Dr Singto Prachaya went straight to reception. I would like to know in which sector he was being requested. After being informed that the call was made by Dr Lawan, in the Neonatal ICU, he went to the elevator and went straight to the sixth floor.
After preparing to enter the room, Dr Singto went straight to talk to Dr Lawan, a podiatrist responsible for the ICU, his friend since college, about what the occurrence was about. She took him to the neonatal incubator, where the baby was, so that he could meet her. Despite being a seven-month-old baby and her lungs still a little immature, needing only essential care, all tests showed that she was a little girl who had a picture that was absolutely within the expected range for a premature new-born. Among essential care, Dr Lawan recommended the work of a physical therapist to help with the girl’s recovery and considered Singto to be the best she knew. In addition to having graduated with merit, he travelled the world knowing and learning naturalistic and sometimes unconventional techniques, all in the hope of helping his patients. When he returned, he used the family’s money and opened the Myriana Rehabilitation Center, which quickly became a place of great reference in physiotherapy.
As he looked at the baby, his sister’s words came back to him “they need you”. Dr Singto wanted to know more and asked about the child’s parents. He learned that the mother had died even before the birth and the father had not yet woken up from the surgery. He felt his heart constrict. For now, he would be the physiotherapist for a beautiful nameless princess. He decided to start physical therapy with the little girl right away. While doing the exercises I was talking to her. He liked to talk to his patients, always explaining what he was doing, even if they were babies, people in a coma, or people incapacitated. He thought it was important for the sick to know, listen and feel that the person next door cared. Something he had learned on his travels is that human warmth makes a big difference to someone who is bedridden. When he was done with the little girl, he asked Dr Lawan if he could meet her father. They went together to the general ICU, where the baby’s father was hospitalized. Looking at that man lying unconscious in that hospital bed, he wondered what he could do to help him, as his little sister had asked. She got close to him, held his hand and said:
- Hey champion, there is a princess out here waiting for you. And someone asked me to help both of you! So do not even think about giving up!
As he held Krist’s hand and spoke to him, the heart monitor that was attached to his side registered a slight increase in the patient’s heartbeat.
Sitting on the bedroom floor, leaning against the wall, hugging her knees that were bent to her chest, Krist felt the room begin to get a little warmer. From the confused noise outside, he could make out what appeared to be a rustle of wings and a voice. It was strong and soft at the same time. Though he did not understand what was being said, he was sure the voice spoke to him. He thought about getting up and trying to figure out where that voice was coming from, but he was still too scared and decided to stay where he was. He felt the room return to normal temperature as the noise outside became confused once more.
Together with Dr Lawan, while leaving the ICU, they decided the procedures for the treatment of the little girl. He started visiting the little princess twice a day. She was always his first patient in the morning, when he was on his way to the clinic, and the last, when he was about to return home. She got better every day. Always asked about Krist’s health status or if any family members had looked for them, and the news was never as expected. Although the traumas and injuries caused by the accident and the surgery were healing satisfactorily, the patient was still in a coma and no one had looked for him since the day of the accident.
Ten days after the accident, Singto learned that Anong’s body had been released by the coroner’s office for burial. Still thinking about his sister’s words, he decided to have the funeral. He did not want the little princess’s mother to be buried like a person without a family. He called his parents and, after explaining his reasons for wanting to help, asked permission to use the family tomb. That day, Singto went to the cemetery to pay homage to Anong Suriang as she was buried in the Prachaya family tomb.
The next day, upon arriving at the hospital to do the girl’s physiotherapy, Dr Singto was called by Dr Pete to talk. Feeling heavy at heart, afraid of getting some bad news about Krist, he walked toward his former college master’s office. He became aware of the patient’s physical improvement, but that he insisted on not waking up from the coma. It was not a deep coma but a coma with a minimal state of consciousness. This is a state in which there is already consciousness, but, as the name says, it is a minimal state, in which the patient reacts to very few stimuli. In these patients you expect an improvement, although it may never happen. Wanting to be prepared in case he woke up from his coma and did not have as many sequels in his body caused by the lack of movement, he asked if Singto would accept to take Krist as a patient and become responsible for his physical therapy. Even without knowing why he felt what he was feeling, he was internally very happy to be invited to take care of that man. They went to visit Krist for a new review. Dr Pete examined his eyes to see the reaction of his pupils, which remained the same. Like the first time, Singto took his hand and said:
- Good morning. Do you remember me? As I told you, someone asked me to help you and, starting today, we will be together every day doing some work to exercise this body. I hope you get better and better!
Krist felt the room start to get warmer again. He remembered the feeling. This time he does not only heard the rustle of wings, but through the window that lit up for a moment, he saw a pair of wings passing by. That voice…he knew he was talking to him again. It made him feel comfortable. He wanted to get up, but fear would not let him. Once again, he felt the room return to normal temperature as the noise outside became confused once more.
Again, the cardiac monitor that was attached to his side registered a slight increase in the patient’s heartbeat. This time, this change did not go unnoticed by Singto’s eyes. He knew Krist was there, somewhere. He just had to make everything more organized and comfortable for when he decided to come back.
He left the hospital to go to the clinic while he thought he would now have two patients to visit a day. It sure made him more excited. The little one already occupied a large part of her daily thoughts, now her father did too. It was strange how he felt about that. It was not professional, but he could not help it.