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I know this isn't going to affect anyone's lives here.  It's none of your concern, you have enough problems to deal with.  But my sister's grandchild, the "apple of her eye", just died.  She was ten.  All of ten years old.
She had the flu, you see.  The doctor wasn't concerned.  And since her Mom and Dad had no insurance, she was just another one of those Pains In the Butt.  Go home, Kid, and lump it.  A couple of days later, Mom and Dad were reaqlly getting worried.  She was blue around her mouth and nose.  She said she couldn't breathe.  She couldn't pee, either.  
The second doctor that saw her said it was the "worst kidney infection he'd ever seen".  Gave her some antibiotic samples and sent her home.  That was just yesterday, at 3:30.  She died today just after noon, with a helicopter trying to get there in time and a young doctor in the ER doing everything he could think of for a little girl that told him, "I trust you.  I see in your eyes you're a good person.  You will help me".  Lexy's heart stopped, and this young man threw all his training, all his will, into making that heart start up again.  He cried, he sobbed, while he shouted orders and pitted all he was against the forces arrayed against him.  In anguish he cried out, "Why the HELL didn't he KEEP HER IN THE HOSPITAL"??, referring to the second physician to see her, with her blue nails and mouth.  
My sister's had a hard life.  We shared more fear, pain, and terror than any child should ever be asked to endure.  I won't go into details because I don't think I need to.  I was the kid that tried to be invisible, and she was the one who fought and defied and stood like a giant against the evil done to us both.  I was in awe of her then and now.  The courage of her.  I wish I had the words to tell you about her, about her spirit.  The sheer...hugeness...of her spirit.  I have never before nor since known a human being with more courage than my sister.  
Her husband has been blind for years.  Sheila was told years ago that she would be in a wheelchair within 5 years because her body was so beaten and worn from the work she did to support her family.  She has continued to work because she must.  She is not in a wheelchair, but she's tired.  She's so tired, with disappointment and difficulty the only constant in her life.  
Lexy was a delight to my sister.  The same spark in my sister's eyes was reflected in the eyes of her granddaughter.  From the beginning they saw in each other a kindred spirit, and they've been the best of friends.  "Grandma Sweetheart" Lexy called her, and she was the joy so hard-earned in Sheila's life.  
Lexy died today.  Sheila couldn't let go of her.  She held her darling girl in her arms until the nurses pried the two apart.  
I can't think of anything to do for my sister.  On this unbearable day,  I find I have the guts to do anything at all for her, and there's nothing to be done.  Nothing to be done.
I wish I could explain her to you, paint a picture for you of the person she is.  If I could do this, you would love her too.  She's the fiercest Liberal I know, she's raised so many "stray children" besides her own.  She's strong and brave and wounded now beyond her ability to bear.  
Love each other.  Hold each other close.  And forgive me for my fear for a spirit I love so very much.  
Lexy's Mom and Dad didn't have health insurance, even though they both work.  Until we live in a world where a child gets the treatment she needs, we live in a world where horror lurks.  

Originally posted to sherlyle on Sat Sep 10, 2011 at 05:39 PM PDT.

Also republished by J Town, Personal Storytellers, March4Healthcare, ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, Single Payer California, WYFP?, Income Inequality Kos, Progressive Hippie, Moose On The Loose, DKOMA, and There Are No Nobodies (Anti-Rankism Group).

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