We were led into the living room where a dozen various family members all gathered to watch over the patient.
The patient, a six year old Turkish lad, sat on the sofa playing with some toys blissfully unaware of the attention surrounding him. He was covered head to foot with red dots.
Binder: “Ah . . . Chicken Pox . . . marvellous.”
I beamed at the distraught Dad. The Mum, frantic with worry, was hovering behind. She was muttering in Turkish at a thousand words a minute and being comforted by other women.
Dad: “No, not Chicken Pox. The Doctor says its not Chicken Pox”
I let Dad explain. Their son had contracted a temperature seven days ago. Two days later they went to their GP who prescribed Ibuprofen and Paracetamol. He also prescribed Co-Amoxiclav (an anti-biotic). After five days all the drugs were finished but the child still had a temperature. This morning he’d also started to get a few spots on his arms and chest so the parents went to a Walk-In Centre where the Doctor said to continue with Paracetamol and Ibuprofen saying if the temperature got worse then to go to Hospital. He said he didn’t think it was Chicken Pox.
Binder: “Its Chicken Pox.”
Dad: “No its not. The Doctor said its not.”
Crew mate: “Its Chicken Pox all right.”
Dad: “No, Doctor said no.”
Binder: “Have you been giving the Paracetamol and Ibuprofen?”
Dad: “No. We have run out.”
Binder: “When was the last time you gave some?”
Dad: “Yesterday. Is he having allergic reaction to this you think?”
He held up the bottle of Co-Amoxiclav. As my crew mate gave the child some Calpol from our drugs pack I smiled gently at the Dad.
Binder: “I doubt it. This is probably Chicken Pox”
Dad: “No. Its not – the . . . ”
Binder: “Ok. Lets go the Hospital then and we’ll have a Doctor look at him. Ok?”
As we were about to leave we noticed the patient’s younger sister being comforted by a relative. With a deathly look my crew mate raised her finger and pointed at the child, speaking in a deep sinister voice.
Crew mate: “You’ll be next”
No one in the group spoke English so they all nodded and smiled.
Walking through A&E to the Paediatric section we caught people looking the patient up and down and whispering to each other, “ah, bless, he’s got Chicken Pox”.
As we entered the Paediatric A&E the nurses took one look at the child and motioned for us all to come straight through and into a segregated room. As we entered, the nurse smiled at the boy and then at the dad.
Nurse: “Chicken Pox eh? . . . Bless”
Dad: “Its not Chicken Pox, the . . .”
Nurse: “I’ll get you a Doctor”
We were just leaving as the Doctor entered the room. He smiled at the Parents and looked the child up and down.
Doctor: “Ah – I see your son has Chicken Pox”