On the path to becoming a doctor – Angela

Yesterday was finally the day that I realized why I am really here on this path of becoming a doctor. Spending the morning at the Pediatric hospital in Lima was one of the most eye opening experienced I have had thus far. Seeing so many sick little babies, toddlers, and kids of all ages, crying in pain, unconscious, and helpless, just broke my heart. My first instinct when I would walk into a room to a crying child was to pick them up, comfort them, and calm them down. The first crying patient was an 18 month old boy who was admitted due to pneumonia and hypotonia. The only thing I could do from a distance was to make funny faces to get him to stop crying and smile; after the first funny face it worked!

We continued on with the tour, and entered into another room with yet another crying child. Every other child was laying in their mother’s arms, being comforted… All but one. 12 month old baby girl with a UTI was laying in her crib alone, with tears and snot running down her face. I slowly backed away from the group to stand by her crib and talk to her to soothe and calm her down. After about 1 minute, the crying stopped and we were off to the next room. Lucky, no crying patients, just children chattering and working on homework. Every child was working on their homework, all but one child. There was one 14 year old girl who stuck out to me the most. she had just been admitted the day before with stage 4 renal insufficiency and was waiting for a kidney transplant. She was quiet, withdrawn, and would not look up at any of us when we walked by her bed. My heart broke just seeing her like this; she didn’t deserve to feel so alone/ scared. First instinct: go talk to her and cheer her up. So I slowly walk over to her and asked her what she was working on, what her name was, how old she was,  what her favorite subject in school was, just basic questions about herself. It took her a while to warm up, but eventually I was able to get her to look up and smile with her head held high. That little smile turned into a giggle, which turned into laugher. Before I left, I whispered to her that everything would be okay and that I wish her good luck. I gave her a sticker before walking out and was able to see how much her state of being changed within a matter of minutes.
Being able to have an impact on someone’s life even for a second is the most rewarding thing I could ever ask for. If it only took me 5 minutes with a patient, wether it was talking to them, cracking jokes, handing out stickers to them, paying attention to them and showing them that I cared, imagine what kind of an impact I could have on other’s lives every day for the rest of my life!
Very rewarding, and this is just the beginning!

Angela Amaniampong

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Categories: Students, Updates from Peru

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