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Eukaryon

Article Title

The Bolivian Experience

Class Year

2008

Abstract

¨Lavinia, come here, you have to see this. This is a crime.¨ The attending doctor was very upset about the patient´s jagged upside-down V shaped scar that ran along her whole belly. Her young daughter, clutching her new one-week old baby, explained to me that her mother had gall stones, but the surgeon who operated couldn´t find them (they had paid very little for the surgery). The patient´s yellow eyes and lab results made for an urgent intervention plan, but the patient was not coming in for follow-up. ¨We don’t have the money ($2) to get to the city,¨ her daughter informed me. Within the first minutes of the consultation, the doctor says, ¨She´s got a giant mass here. How did anyone miss it?¨ Her family did not want to admit what this meant. ¨She has cancer, but maybe she doesn’t, right? She can get better, right? My neighbor told me that their cousin…¨ It was an inoperable case, we could only help her be more comfortable, but comfort drugs were only available through the prescription of an oncologist who comes in sometimes once a week. The last time I saw her, she was lying down across the bench at the cancer hospital. Her daughter informed me she passed away on her way ´home.´ Two weeks earlier she had invited me to her birthday lunch at her humble home.

Disclaimer

Eukaryon is published by students at Lake Forest College, who are solely responsible for its content. The views expressed in Eukaryon do not necessarily reflect those of the College. Articles published within Eukaryon should not be cited in bibliographies. Material contained herein should be treated as personal communication and should be cited as such only with the consent of the author.

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