June 24, 2008

I Believe In You, Chicago

This is the sort of thing that just breaks my heart. From the Tribune: 8-year-old Josue Torres was in a parked van with his parents when he was critically wounded by gunfire from a passing car. As he was being taken into the operating room at Stroger Hospital, he said to the nurses and doctors: "You guys have been so nice to me. When I die, I'm going to miss you." The trauma unit surgeon told him that wasn't going to happen, because they were going to save him. The little boy is now in stable condition.

I know it's pointless to say, but this is just so horrible. Chicago needs to protect its children from this kind of horror. An innocent little boy should not have to face his mortality in a cold hospital corridor with his mother and father weeping beside him. What is wrong with us?

On a related note, I was on the phone with my 97 year old grandmother earlier today. Grandma was a nursing student in Chicago during the depression (that's why my mother was born in Chicago instead of on the family farm in Lafayette Indiana, where my great-grandparents emigrated from Germany). I asked her what part of Chicago the family lived in and she shuffled through old address books looking for street names. She reminisced about nervous young nursing students going into the worst parts of Chicago and delivering babies of people who couldn't afford clean bedsheets, let alone a hospital birth. She said sometimes the nursing students even named the babies sometimes, which blew my mind, and she also reminded me that she used to care for Al Capone's henchmen when they'd come into various Chicago hospitals with gunshot and knife wounds. I used to think that part was sort of cool. Not anymore.

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