Noon of May 14th, my colleague Guan Ying and I left for Xining City of Qinghai Province according to our work schedule. We were relieved when we arrived in railway station 10 minutes before of the train’s departure.
We arrived in west railway station of Xining City which is far away from downtown at 3:40 pm. We were so eager to find the two hospitals that we didn’t care about the time. With the help of Guan Ying’s classmate, we found the two hospitals, which helped our visit the next day. When the night fell, we checked into a hotel for the night. 8:15 AM the next day, we arrived in the first hospital: Cardiovascular Disease Special Hospital of Qinghai Province. Just like yesterday, there were still a lot of people.
We must have calculated the time wrong because when we arrived at the cardiac surgery room, the surgeon had begun another operation. There were going to be two surgeries sand they couldn't predict when the surgery would be finished. We then had to find another cardiac surgery leader in the administrative building. Someone told us that Director Zang was in charge of such matter. However, when we found Director Zang, she misunderstood us and interrupted us. Although we didn't feel too welcomed by her, we still told her that we were from the Little Red Scarf Union and specially assisted CHD children in powerful hospitals.
Director Zang was not friendly, so we decided to wait for the head of cardiac surgery to come out of the operation room. The whole floor was crowded, as four different departments were all in the same floor. The place was crowded with people both in the wards and corridor. The corridor was taken up by the temporarily added beds. Ms. Guan and I squatted on the stairs outside the operating room, and waited for the department director. Midway we posed as the patient's family to the ICU door to so that we could talk to the director. We were told that the director would be come out of the operation room by 2:30 pm. Taking our bags, we decided to go to the other hospital: Affiliated Hospital of Qinghai University.
When we arrived at the hospital, the vice director of cardiac surgery met us. He was very warm and cordial. The staff of cardiovascular surgery and cardiac surgery work in the same floor. There were 12 doctors and 19 nurses total in the cardiac surgery department. There were 2 operation rooms and only 2 sickbeds in ICU. The surgery amounted to 200 cases in which 50% were congenital heart disease. They would move to the new building in the end of the month. Everything would improve there. The old building was messy, so I thought I would take a couple pictures. So far, no non-profit charity has cooperated with them and they hoped to arrange an agreement with us. We left Little Red Scarf brochures and contact information before leaving.
To our disappointment, the director was still in the operation room by the time we got back to the Cardiovascular Disease Special Hospital of Qinghai Province. Director Zang was waiting for us and she told us that she read some information about Little Red Scarf from those brochures and wanted to know more details about Little Red Scarf. We informed her about the history of Little Red Scarf as well as the groups and scope of financial assistance. She listened carefully and told us that a short-term non-profit charity was already cooperating with the hospital.
They carried out various congenital heart diseases, but in the highlands, there were many children of ethnic minority. Therefore, these children had varying degrees of pulmonary hypertension when they had congenital heart disease. Some of them directly lost surgery opportunities. Their surgical volume was 300 cases in which 1/3 were congenital heart disease. For some reasons it is hard to say how many exclusive beds there were and operating rooms and ICU were mixed. They would move into a new office building around July or August. There, the office environment would greatly improve. After waiting a while longer, the director of cardiac surgery was still in the operating room, so I decided to leave Little Red Scarf brochures and contact information for him to read. We went directly to the bus station. Thus, we bid farewell to Xining City. But, I will be back one day. The sky was blue and the city was clean in Qinghai. I wished the beautiful city would keep its charm.
Original article written by Jie Yun Yu, translated by Shishi Ma, and edited by US interns Isabel Auyeung and Kevin Mo.
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