Thursday, June 09, 2005


"I'm sorry, there's nothing more that we can do."

Mrs. S looked up at me, eyes burdened by the agony of the inevitable loss and the agony from her recent abdominal incision. Her gaze shifted towards the staff surgeon, and then slowly back towards her dying 4 day old son.

Baby S was born 6 weeks premature, and his lungs didn't have enough time to mature. Actually, most of Baby S didn't have time to mature, and he laid there in his incubator, all three pounds of him, struggling to survive. And despite our best efforts, best equipment, and latest surgical procedures, Baby S was beyond our capabilities.

All that we had left was to keep him comfortable.

She asked how much longer it would take before he was gone.
We gave our best guess.

She reached in the incubator and held her son's hand, amidst the miles of plastic IV tubing. I stepped back to give them their privacy, and stood silent as Mrs. S sang a lullaby to her dying son.