My family were recently in a position that has left us feeling eternally grateful for the Sick Kids hospital in Edinburgh and in awe of the incredible NHS staff who run it.
My son came out of school last week looking incredibly ill and very weak. On getting home, we discovered he had a very high temperature and he said he had been feeling really bad all day. He fell asleep as soon as he sat on the sofa.
When he woke, he started hallucinating and told us the cats were ballet dancing. That might sounds funny but as a parent you know delirium is not a good sign.
After a call to NHS24, a trip to the out-of-hours service and a referral to the Sick Kids, we were starting to worry. My son couldn’t keep consciousness, his eyes were rolling and he could hardly stand.
I was stressed out. As his mum, just wanted someone to help him urgently and the staff at the Sick Kids were amazing.
However I wish I could say the same for the adults in the waiting area. The place was busy with no free seats. My blood boiled as my son stood with a floppy head and struggled to stay on his feet while numerous adults sitting in the seats failed to offer up their seat to my child.
What have we become as a human race when, in a children’s hospital, adults sit spread out in a waiting area with their bellies hanging out, looking on at a child who is clearly in need of urgent medical care?
Had this been in A&E (for adults) in the main hospital in Edinburgh, I’m sure people would have something to say if a group of children were taking up all the seats, having a lark about when adults needed medical care because they should know better, right?
I was horrified at the lack of compassion and awareness from the adults in the waiting room, more so because there were only three kids needing attention, yet not a seat was to be seen. We waited and scuttled about to try and find an alternative when eventually a young mum asked if we wanted her seat. She then gave her husband a nudge and told him to move up so my son could lie down as she could see he was struggling. We were grateful yet I was still angry at the slobs sitting staring on, refusing to move and give up their seat.
I had to get myself in check because I was about to say something and I had to way up my priorities. Getting in to a “fisty-cuffs” in the middle of a children’s hospital was not top of the list. I just wanted my son to be better. I started to wonder if I was over-reacting and thought of all the children in Syria suffering the aftermaths of a chemical attack. How unthinkable it would be to see a child in that situation and not be able to do anything. We have clean running water, a health service with staff who are outstanding on a daily basis, so why was I getting to annoyed at these adults who were completely lacking any human and parental compassion?
It makes me want to make sure that my child doesn’t grown up to be a selfish, unaware human being and I’ll do my best to raise him to be a compassionate and caring soul, so that chivalry and the unspoken social code that makes life that little bit more palatable, doesn’t fade out. Thank you again to the amazing nightshift staff last Monday who managed to fit a cannula into my six-year-old’s hand and take blood without him even noticing. Dr Ross on the night shift and his nurses, we’re forever grateful for your patience, medical advice and general superhero ways!