But directly across the aisle, Masika died. This little girl was severely brain damaged, developmentally delayed, abandoned to her grandmother, and found during her admission to have sickle cell disease as well. No child should die of hunger, and though her overall life prognosis was poor we struggled to feed her and bring some measure of health into her life. But over the last 24 hours she deteriorated, and in spite of a blood transfusion and IV antibiotics, become worse and worse. By this morning her long-gone mother had returned only to wail and mourn as she breathed her last. That was brutal, the screaming despair of this mother went on and on, perhaps compounded by her guilt in having been absent for most of the last year of her daughter's life as she had moved on to another marriage.
There is no simple way to make sense of these two stories, two stories repeated over and over bed after bed throughout the ward. For every few kids that are rescued, that respond, that revive . . .. there is another that dies. In fact as soon as Masika's bed was cleaned up, another severely handicapped child with a similar story (mom gone, grandmother the caretaker, spastic cerebral palsy with a tiny head and terrified eyes and peeling skin . . .) moved into her place. Why does Mugume get another life, But Masika does not?
I can't answer that, and it is not my job. I can only hope that through the lens of eternity, God's goodness will triumph over the sorrow in both of their lives, and we will see the mercy of extended days on earth and the mercy of an end of the suffering in Heaven, both in perspective.