It’s sobering to realize that without the miracle of modern medicine, three out of four of my children might my have survived this far.

I’m in a hospital room with B as she sings away, recovering from pneumonia. Bacterial pneumonia can hit fast and what seemed like a bad cold overnight moved to rapid breathing with her little ribs sticking through. Still, she seemed cheery in the wait room and was smiling and climbing on furniture. We felt silly being there as a child nearby winced in pain and another slept in her father’s arms. By the time she was assessed her lips were blueish and she was not keeping her oxygen levels above that magic 90 percent. After 24 hours on oxygen and antibiotics she is showing signs of her old self again.

M had pneumonia as well when she was one, treated at home but still very nasty. I’m so lucky to live where we do, in a country where the hospital is close, and where I don’t have to wonder if I can afford the visit.

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