Three friends and a little tiny Frosty
This story begins with three friends who ‘hang out’ together. None of them are ‘old’, but then, none of them are new either. We are a long distance apart by miles or kilometers, but we still have the internet. One lives in Canada, one in the far northern part of New England and one in the mid-South.
About a week ago the friend in Canada came in with a story about her family increasing in size and we all got very interested and at least emotionally involved. Since my friend in New England is the Editor of a local newspaper, she can tell the story from this point better than I. So, she has given me permission to use her Editorial to share a very interesting human interest story with you.
…………………………………………Frosty the Wonder Child
…………………………………………………by Karen Hinson
Late last week, a friend and her family in Alberta, Canada, faced a crisis. A daughter (who is also granddaughter and great-granddaughter) was born during an emergency C-section, without heartbeat or breath. The umbilical cord had knotted and cut off her oxygen. The medical team got her breathing and she was airlifted to a hospital in Calgary. By all reports she looked healthy, strong, and beautiful.
The little girl experienced seizures on the way to Calgary and again upon arrival. Her blood pressure was very low. The attending physicians put her on anti-seizure medication and gave her a blood transfusion. She was also put on medications to correct a heart that wasn’t contracting properly and on blood pressure medication, as well as on a ventilator to keep her airways open and morphine to keep her sedated. Her urine output was so low she was catheterized. She was then placed in therapeutic hypothermia — a 72-hour cooling period to slow down the body processes and give her a chance to heal.
At this point the family started calling her Frosty. Once Frosty’s 72 hours was over, she would be returned to normal body temperature over a 12-hour period and evaluated by a team of physicians and nurses. Wonderful family that they are, they found ways to stay positive. They stayed with Frosty and reported that she was peeing and pooping like the lady she is. You have to admire a family who is able to smile in the midst of crisis. With a positive attitude, faith and humor, they joined her on her journey. Lucky Frosty, to have such a family.
If Frosty had been born in this country, the family, unless independently wealthy, would be saying their prayers while trying not to think about the incredible cost of all this care. They would be in a state of panic about the financial devastation they were facing.
Born in Canada, with universal health care, Frosty and her family have one less thing to worry about. Oh, they will have plenty to deal with, but these hospital and pharmaceutical and physician and nursing and transportation costs won’t be an issue. As my friend, Frosty’s great-grandmother, says about Canadian health care, “to spend money on this kind of care requires commitment… most of us are willing to spend tax money on it. Then it is there if we need it. Most of us don’t. We pay more for gas and are taxed more, but I’ll take this system any day!”
Frosty and her family will have some difficult times ahead as they deal with her diagnosis now… some visual impairment and cerebral palsy.
What they won’t have to deal with is medical bankruptcy. What they won’t have to deal with is politicians who think they are moochers trying to take advantage of entitlement programs. They won’t have to try to navigate the mountains of paperwork of private health care insurers whose motive is profit, not compassion. Canadian health care may require waiting for elective surgery, but that really is as it should be. I wouldn’t want my family to have to wait in line for a surgeon because he or she was too busy tending to the line of surgeries that were not critical.
Canadian health care is not an entitlement. It is a proper use of the genius of medicine, the compassion of science, and the logic of lawmaking. Oh Brave New World, that has such options in it.
Welcome Frosty to your loving family.