I am amazed at how time has simultaneously stood still and raced during this strange time in our lives. I never thought I would live through a global pandemic that has caused such upheaval in everyone’s lives. But here we are, in October 2020 and still managing this crisis.
For us at Umduduzi life continues as normal. Both our play programmes have reopened and he children are delighted to have Sandra and Nomandla back. Strict PPE and sanitising is in place and the children are once again having the opportunity to play and learn during their time in hospital. This is a huge advantage as many of them are without their caregivers due to Covid restrictions within the hospital.
As a palliative care team we are spending a lot of time trying to negotiate parents’’ access to their children. Hospital policies have been put in place ensuring that visits are not ad hoc. This has been very necessary as we have needed to ensure that those in hospital are kept safe from Covid infection from the outside. If caregivers are going to visit they need to test first and wait for their results. If they are negative they are allowed to stay in the hospital and visit. However, this cannot be indefinitely as there are other responsibilities at home. This has been incredibly stressful for parents, children, the treating teams and ourselves as families are having to leave their little ones in hospital alone. I do wonder what the long term psychological effects of this “abandonment” might have on our future generations.
All is not doom and gloom though. In June 2017 I wrote about Baby Q. He was born with a severe cardiac problem in December 2016. Surgery was conducted in May 2017 but was unfortunately unsuccessful. Umduduzi assisted in getting him home and helped manage his symptoms. Although his long-term prognosis is not good I am happy to tell you he is now a mischievous little 3, nearly 4-year-old with the most amazing smile. Being at home and receiving the love and attention he needed as well as good palliative care he has had the opportunity to enjoy his life and most importantly have quality of life. This has been a huge blessing to his family. Thank you for helping us help Baby Q and his family.
As the year draws to a close I hope you all stay safe and treasure the time you have with loved ones. If there is one thing this pandemic has taught us it’s that. Treasure the time you have.
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