This past week one of the cardiologist PA's chatted for a few minutes before finishing rounds. A few years ago this PA had a patient whose spinal cord injury was one level above Bobby's (meaning paralyzed neck down instead of chest down), and was not only young, but in very bad shape. He was paralyzed at a young age while jumping on a trampoline. He was placed in a nursing home. This part of the story actually doesn't surprise me. An injury that high would require a lot of care and time, and if the Mom was single or working, there would simply not be the time or energy needed to do what this child would need. Even many adults who are Bobby's level or higher wind up in nursing homes because of the cost and time involved in caregiving. But what horrified us both was when she said no one came to see him...at all. Not for meetings with the doctors, not for a five minute visit....nothing. This young man had no one. The PA was concerned enough to call the nursing home and see if they would call the boy's mother, just to make sure she was aware of the hospitalization. The nursing home replied they had called the mother and would call again, but not to expect anything. She never visited the nursing home either.
The PA talked with the young man, and found out that early on a lot of his friends would visit, but as they entered their teen years and beyond, their interests took them elsewhere and they simply forgot about him.
I know there are at least two sides to every story. I understand friends falling away. That happens even with moves or life in general without their being a health complication in the mix. But I cannot understand not having a visit from family during the weekend or even a phone call. There may be more to the story and some valid reasons for why she doesn't visit. But it's simply beyond me.
I pray that when the day comes that we need outside help for Bobby that God will bless us with health aides we can afford. I know many people can't, and nursing homes are the only option. But should that ever be the case for us, I will do my utmost to make sure that the above story will never be said of our family.