I'm going to relate a story, one of the most harrowing things I've witnessed as a nurse & it involves a bad case of child abuse/
Late 90's, I was still an OR nurse in a pediatric hospital.i was on night call & was paged in for an "infant Ortho case, I'm not sure just what's involved" was the reason. I got outta bed & came in like usual, checked in the my scrub & the anesthesia tech to get ready
We opened the case, had all the power & instruments ready, we counted then I went to the ER to pick up the patient. Odd the baby was still in the ER & not already in pre-op...
First I glanced at the many many XRs on the viewer. I spent quite a bit of time as this was unusual, head, torso, limbs, full body films....um is that a skull fracture? No, the MD said, "we've counted 3, plus spiral fractures of bilateral tibias"
I'm there to do a job but this is not a trauma center. This kid had nearly been beaten to death over weeks & he was only 4 months old. Skull fractures at various stages of healing, he had been hit in the head so hard/
Both external ears had huge hematomas that threatened loss of blood supply & had to be surgically repaired. Both lower legs fractures bleeding internally also threatening loss of blood supply needed releasing or he could lose both legs/
Both situations dire enough we were going to do both surgeries at the same time- how do we drape for this? How can we give this kid enough blood that quick? I'm overwhelmed in planning...then I see mom/
She's in the room with baby acting like a caged animal, literally writhing in her chair, she looks extremely agitated & panic level fear, no crying & no tears. She's saying her boyfriend did this, he's not here.
Im outside the room w/ the anesthesia tech & 4 cops. We all go in the room together. The baby is sleeping, calm, peaceful. Mom is in full panic, I want to whisk baby away from her but the tech does something in credible/
I have baby in my arms, he stops me & motions to mom & says "come say goodbye to your baby" she walks over & gives him a tearful & tender kiss on the forehead. It's a thing I will never forget. Then immediately the police grab her & forcibly carry her off.
I read in the papers she & the father were imprisoned for a long time, the child was adopted. The abuse was so horrific not a single family member was allowed to see the child - ever. I have no idea if he is of normal health but I hope so.
The lesson I learned that night was, even in the most terrible of situations, kindness is still possible. I was wrathful & wanted to hurt the mom by taking her child away. The anesthesia tech showed mercy by allowing them that tender good-bye. A moment burned into my memory

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