In un articolo sul Guardian un’oncologa australiana prende spunto da un episodio illuminante del suo lavoro per riflettere su un punto che nessuno degli addetti ai lavori prenderebbe in dovuta considerazione: l’importanza dei parenti che assistono i malati in ospedale per il benessere del paziente e il buon funzionamento dell’organizzazione ospedaliera.
Children’s hospitals are designed with the assumption that a parent will need to stay with a child. But many adults are no less stressed by hospitalisation and often, the best treatment for a delirious patient is the presence of a familiar face. With an ageing population, we will not only need to make room for relatives but also their walkers and wheelchairs, not to mention their other often modest needs…
“My time is short,” she responds, “and I may not get to repeat this, but thank you for all that you have done.”
At such times, it’s customary to reply, “I haven’t done much,” but I just listen with a heavy heart, admiring how a prematurely dying patient for whom no intervention was possible can still find something to be grateful for. What are such people made of and why can’t we all be like that?
She is in a visible rush to get her words out before she falls asleep. “The thing is,” she proclaims, “you said something, then followed it through. And I can’t tell you how much that means to me and my family. I will never forget that.”