Mickey Rostoker - update
Mickey and his wife, Cathy, are a brilliant medical team working tirelessly to promote and teach leading edge midwifery as well as combat maternal mortality and neglected global diseases in places like Uganda.
Mickey just shared this very touching recollection. I post it in hopes that more can know about the good work that Mickey and Cathy are doing - as well as the challenges they, their partners, and those they serve face!
From: Mickey Rostoker
Once upon a time …
Tue, Jun 17, 2014 01:14 PM
Late afternoon. A few wisps of clouds shelter the waning sun in the hot, equatorial sky.
The relative quiet of the ward as day shift changes to afternoon shift suddenly turns into a state of urgency.
“Come quickly doctor … there is a woman bleeding.”
She has been bleeding heavily for one day. On the chart it says she had a previous normal pregnancy. She is now 4 months pregnant.
On the stretcher, an impoverished, emaciated 18 year old from the countryside, barely able to respond to her name.
Blood pressure low … pulse rapid.
Between her thighs, a few cloths heavily soiled with blood.
Many clots and obvious grape like clusters of tissue lying on the plastic sheet.
An IV with blood in one arm, an IV with salt water in the other arm.
Quickly she is moved to the evacuation room.
The available equipment and blood is less than optimal.
The doctor works as quickly as possible to remove tissue and stem the continuing bleed.
The onlookers, grim faced and silent nursing students, are uneasy.
The doctor asks them to see if they can locate more blood and equipment.
The bag with blood is now empty. Now only salt water is going into her in both arms.
But her hemoglobin is only 4 when she is first seen in the hospital.
Only blood will be able to replace volume and give desperately needed oxygen to her tissues.
The patient is so very pale.
She complained about the intrusion into her body at first but is now so quiet.
The tissue and blood coming from her insides is less now.
There is no more blood to transfuse.
Suddenly, the doctor feels a small shudder coming from his silent patient.
Looking at her face it is obvious. These are her last breaths.
Then she is no more.
The doctor rises from the work stool in front of her and moves to close her eyes.
Another woman has died, unnecessarily.
Another small child is left without a mother, unnecessarily.
Jean-Francois (Mickey) Rostoker, BA, MD, CCFP, FCFP
Associate Clinical Professor/Family Practice/University of British Columbia/Vancouver/Canada
Assistant Clinical Professor/Family Medicine/University of Saskatchewan/Regina/Canada