During Christmas a few years ago, an interstate patient was transferred to my ward.
She was pregnant, very jaundiced, in a lot of pain and generally not well.
She was accompanied by her husband and toddler, and had been diagnosed with “a worm in the liver”.
As one of her primary midwives, I was concerned the diagnosis was far more sinister.
The baby girl was delivered prematurely by Caesarean section and transferred to the Special Care Nursery. Her mother remained with us for five days.
On the day of her planned discharge another midwife was allocated to her care, but I answered her buzzer. She was in agony and not well.
I spoke to her midwife and advised her to ask the consultant to keep her in hospital.
I organised to take over her care for the last four hours of my 12-hour shift. I immediately called her specialist and demanded he attend or I would call an emergency, and I told him what I suspected.
I remained behind for all the investigations that night.
The next morning she was diagnosed with a terminal condition.
She was transferred to the adult hospital for further investigation and treatment.
Six weeks later she passed away.
Her devoted and devastated husband and toddler took the baby home.
This beautiful young woman and her family had a significant impact on every midwife in the unit, even those who did not directly care for her. A group of us attended her funeral interstate.
She and her family are etched in my heart forever.
Some people just have the amazing ability to create something special in times of heartbreak.
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