Sunday, May 13, 2012


It is another Mother's day, again. Another time to show appreciation to the countless mothers worldwide; where would we be without them?

In the course of my medical practice, I've come across many mothers; one mother, however, sticks in my mind.

I recall her from eons ago, during the time I was a green house-officer when we practiced pre-historic medicine.

She stands tall and unshakeable in my mind amongst all other mothers on that fateful day - the day I almost blew up the paediatric ward.

Yes, you heard me right - the day I almost blew up the paediatric ward - I'll get to that in a minute.

Her child was being managed for a long term condition, I think it was meningitis, and was dependent totally on the hospital equipment, IV fluids and the lot, which house-officers like myself had gone through great pains to set up.

I was trying to open a new oxygen cylinder so her child could get some more oxygen (don't ask me if that's part of my job description); when, suddenly there was a loud sound like a mini explosion - It was from the cylinder I was fiddling with.

Pandemonium broke out, everyone scampered to safety, those that could, took their children with them, those that couldn't, well....

I was left alone, scared and sweating, in an almost empty ward, with the cylinder still hissing out the gas loudly - But she stayed.

She couldn't possibly leave her child, could she? Was she going to yank her child off all the medical support? We had become two actors in this play, neither knowing the outcome. She remained cool and even offered me suggestions.

With my heart pounding, and fearing for the safety of myself and the ward, I dragged the loudly hissing cylinder out of the ward to the open air.

She hadn't, in a moment of panic, jeopardised the health of her child, she was a true mother. And this day, many years after, I remember her and salute her.

What makes a true mother?

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