A lot seems to have changed in 3 weeks.
All 11 beds are full - kids & accompanying parents. So far these are the poorest group we've seen in the nearly 6mths of our self-created project.
They are not poor in the Western or Asian way. They are poor as in "the poor of Africa" way.
Wanna my dear Thai friend (Tuesday dinner lady) told me when this new batch came in, she had rushed home (a good 45 minutes away) & collected a batch of old clothes from everyone to distribute. 1 of the fathers was wearing 2 torn ladies blouses; one on top of the other.
90% of these people took a 2 to 4 day trip with money they don't have, to get to a hospital which can't help with their really sick kids.
Another thing that's changed.
A 7 yr old boy - who was in great pain, and for whom I hunted down 1 of those elusive medical staff on a Friday at 3-30pm - when ALL the doctors have already buggered off at lunch time for their weekend (ok someone tell them they were supposed to finish at 5pm please?).
Today, the 9yr old boy who looks 4, with the almost totally atrophied legs? I call him Sunny because he is always so Sunny.
Sunny's far worst. I know his cancer's spreading fast. The cancer's so palpable you can reach out and touch it.
But Sunny's spirit is undauntable. He has the most beautiful smile..despite his very apparent failing health.
As I was leaving today he asked if he can go with me in my car.
It is heart breaking to see any child take a turn for the worst.
For volunteers, there is no closure when someone we "know" dies. One day they're there, 1 hour later, the bed's just empty.
I dread seeing empty beds. But this is a part of what we must contend with when we do this. We know that is part of living & dying.
In my mind (more to comfort myself than reality?), I see Angels swooping down to carry the souls of children, loving and peaceful to the arms of whoever is in charge in Heaven.
I sure hope the Boss up there will take real good care of these kids. He'd better or I won't talk to him anymore
And yeah. I will take Sunny for a spin. I just have to con someone to carry Sunny up & down 2 floors for me.
There are no lifts here. Sunny wouldn't be weighing much but he looks so fragile, I am afraid we'll break his bones easily.
And then we will go to the best joint in this place for an ice cream.
Fuck the Calories.