HAVANA TIMES – Alejandra was a happy little girl, who lived with her mother, her father and her older sister; she had her toys and even a bike, which she’d ride every afternoon when she came home from school. It was the thing she enjoyed doing the most. She’d get told off from time to time, because she’d go out for a ride without finishing her homework, but she would say she needed to practice because she was going to be a cyclist.
It’s been weeks now that we haven’t seen Alejandra riding her bike around the neighborhood. What could have happened? “She’s in the hospital,” her sister told us yesterday, who was walking in front of our house.
It turns out that she fell off her bike about a week ago, when she was riding it like she normally does, and she hurt her inner thigh. The cut was quite deep from the looks of it. When she got to the polyclinic, the doctors on call (because there wasn’t an ambulance to take her to the hospital in this serious case) cleaned the wound and sewed it up, 21 stitches in total (there weren’t any medicines to prescribe either), and she was told to rest at home and to let it heal. “Give her any antibiotic you can find,” was the prescription of the doctor who saw her.
Two days passed, and nothing visible seemed to have happened. But when she woke up on the third day… “Mama, my cut stinks of dead animal,” Alejandra said when she woke up. She was burning with a fever and the skin around the wound had turned red.
They went straight to the provincial hospital from the polyclinic, and then immediately to the pediatric hospital in Havana. The infection was quite advanced.
The doctors called the parents in to talk, if the infection didn’t stop spreading, they’d need to amputate; the infection had spread very close to the femoral artery, Alejandra’s life was at risk, so they needed to make a decision.
Two weeks after this happened; her sister told us they will give her a prosthesis made to her size…
We were all left in shock… there won’t be any more laughing while she’s riding her bike, there won’t be any more games. So, who’s to blame? How do you explain to a girl who’s just 9 years old that a “medical power” like Cuba has professionals that mess up so badly?
How do you explain to her that her life changed because of a malpractice, because there weren’t any ambulances and quality emergency care? How do you explain to her that she’ll never be able to ride her bike again?