Our first A&E visit to KKH

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We were sitting in the waiting room of KK women and children hospital waiting for our turn. About 2 hours ago I was trying to get Liam to nap but he decided to play instead. I was sitting on the bed watching him fling his little hanky about. The next minute I knew, I woke up to his screaming and he was nowhere to be found. I looked to the other side of the bed and he was face down on the floor, lying on top of the bolster. When I picked him up, he had blood all over his face and he was screaming. I ran out of the room screaming for my husband. I had dozed off and my son rolled off the bed, scraped his forehead against either the drawer or side of the bed before landing on the floor in an awkward angle. 

There was so much blood I didn’t know what to do. There was blood all over his face, in his mouth, on his onesie, on my leg. Even blood on my foot. Thankfully my husband was much more levelheaded and he grabbed gauze and told me to hold it firmly against the wound to stop the bleeding. He wrapped his head with bandages and we rushed down to the hospital. 

The wait at triage was long. His makeshift bandage slipped off his head and I was pacing between the triage cubicles before finally catching a nurse’s attention to rebandage his head. We then proceeded to the main waiting area to, well, wait. 

Children with all ailments were there. There were kids lying limply in parents’ arms while being sponged with wet towels. There was a boy with a gauze-taped chin following his worried looking mother as she walked around looking for help. There were a few cases sitting in wheelchairs patiently waiting for their turn with their stone-faced parents beside them. There was one boy in his karate outfit sitting in a wheelchair while his dad held onto his medals. Another boy with a bandage tied around one arm to his chest, walking very slowly through the waiting room while trying not to whimper. His parents were beside him at every step of the way. There was a baby who wouldn’t stop crying as his grandfather carried him on his shoulder and paced the perimeter of the room. There were whole families taking up entire rows of chairs, where there’s one sick child with his siblings seated next to him, all three of them glued to their iPads. Because when an accident happens and you can’t find alternative help at that moment, you can do nothing else but to bring everyone along. 

I sat there in the room holding onto Liam while he bounced in my lap. He had gotten over the trauma quickly and was his usual happy self, pointing and waving at anyone who looked his way. I, on the other hand, was trying not to crumble and cry. This was the second incident in less than a week that’s happened to my child while he’s under my care. A moment of carelessness and he was put in harm’s way. I sat there in the midst of it all blaming myself, while feeling very tired from having to carry so much on my shoulders for so long. 

I looked up from staring blankly into space and spotted another mother holding her child. There was a small container of water and a wet towel next to her, so my guess was the baby was in for high fever. The mother had her eyes closed while carrying her baby, but I soon realized she was dozing off as she started to nod, and I saw her hold on her baby slackened a little. I panicked and looked around to see if she was with anyone else or someone could help. At that moment, she started awake and her grip tightened. She looked up and our eyes met momentarily, before I quickly glanced away. Embarrassed to have caught her in that split second of weakness, that if she hadn’t woken up in time the way I didn’t, she would have dropped her baby the way I did mine. But I truly wanted to reach out to her and say, it’s ok. I’ve been there. I know you’re tired. As I am tired too. I wish I could tell you it will get better soon but I don’t know it myself. But I want you to know, you’re not alone. 

Four hours later, we left the hospital with a baby with a row of stitches on his forehead. Liam thankfully was barely aware of his wound so he didn’t try to touch it. I’m just glad that we all came out of this incident fairly okay. 

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