It was surgery day. Prisca had checked into the General Hospital the night before. A group of us went that morning to visit her and pray with her before she was taken to the OR for her hysterectomy. My stomach churned and I felt sick at the thought of what Prisca and her husband were facing. Not only would the baby she was carrying die, but she would lose the possibility of ever carrying another child. My heart grieved for her.
The hospital wards had become a fairly familiar to us, but no more comforting than they had been the first shocking time we had been in one. Long narrow rooms were lined with simple metal bedframes and thin mattresses. The beds were so close together that there was just enough room to stand between them. This day was like most. The beds were full. It was visiting hours so clusters of visitors stood at the foot of many of the beds. There was no privacy. There was no curtain to draw close. Everyone knew everyone else’s business. My eyes scanned the room, looking at each patient, trying to find Prisca in the sea of sickness.
I was shocked when I spotted her.
There she was, sitting on the edge of her bed, her face bright and full of color. A peaceful smile matched her eyes that were full of hope. She looked better than she had in weeks. But what took me off guard even more was what she was wearing. She was fully dressed in regular clothes. Where was her hospital gown?
With a lightness in her voice, she explained the morning’s events. Her surgeon, a doctor whom she’d never met until that morning, came to examine her. After looking over the chart, she was confused why Prisca was scheduled for a hysterectomy when she was pregnant. She had Prisca do ANOTHER pregnancy test and when it was positive, she simply said, “We can’t do a hysterectomy if you’re pregnant.”
“The doctor is sending me home,” Prisca said.