Saturday, December 25, 2004

Christmas Eve...

Did some reflecting tonight. Here's why.
I spent X'mas eve amongst my countrymen. My friend and cardiology consultant from Singapore, had a gathering of Malaysians and Singaporeans. It was great to be able to hear all those accents and phrases (Wah lau, etc). I had a great time, just being me. Feeling close to home. All the same, being doctors (most of us anyway) we traded stories. And I heard some firsthand stories of some young S'porean doctors during the SARS outbreak 2 years ago.
  • How a doctor who was infected deteriorated so quickly, that he was sending SMS's to his wife every couple of hours. 1st message: I'm not feeling too well, I'm just gonna stay home. 2nd message: I'm feeling pretty bad, I'm going to the hospital. 3rd message: They say they're going to have to intubate me (He died soon after).
  • About how they were strongly advised to write out last wills and testament.
  • How they were so afraid of bringing back infections that they stayed away from family and loved one.
  • How a young doctor (one of my friends tonight knew him personally) died despite loving care at home by his mother, also a physician. She got infected and died soon after.
  • How it felt like a battlefield for them, how they had to use masks, gowns, etc.

My hats off to these guys. While I don't envy that experience, and although they flash no badges or carry guns or make a big thing out of it, they're heroes.