The resilience is inspiring. I’m shown on a daily basis how children here continue to find joy in the smallest of things.
I’ve been taking care of countless sick and injured children in the paediatric ward. My work doesn’t end there. I also provide critical care as patients arrive, in the delivery ward when newborns require resuscitation and also as an added pair of hands on the other main wards.
This is true team work in action. Medics from Bangladesh work side by side nurses, doctors, psychosocial support workers, interpreters and technical teams to save lives day in, day out.
The radio crackles again and I’m called urgently to the outpatient department.
Three-year-old Nazia has managed to stick a couple of seeds up her nose, which the staff are having trouble removing.
Children around the world are all the same and amongst the crush injuries, burns and malnutrition found here, there are still kids being kids.
After a quick discussion via the interpreter, her father delivers ‘the parents kiss’ blowing air through the mouth and expelling the seeds from her nose. The father smiles as though he has been taught a new party trick. They leave the hospital happy.
Tracy Jordan (second from the right) with her field hospital colleagues from Bangladesh Red Crescent.
A short while later I’m looking after seven-year-old Mohammed, who has a special place in my heart. He arrived in a critical condition after being in a Tom Tom accident.
His lung had collapsed and filled with blood, he had multiple broken bones and serious cuts and wounds. For the first 48 hours we were lucky to keep him alive.
Mohammed would have been in an intensive care unit in Australia but due to a lack of hospitals in the region we have nowhere else to send him.
We inserted a number of drains into his chest to keep him alive and two days after he arrived we rushed him back into the operating theatre with further complications.
Two weeks passed and he’s now full of smiles as he blows his bubbles and balloons, which are the closest thing we have to chest physiotherapy and breathing exercises.
Every day he spends hours in the psychosocial tent with his brothers where they spend the day playing and being allowed to be children.