A Small Sad Story

Editorial |Author: Milena Hristova | March 21, 2012, Wednesday // 16:27|  views

Lingering around the transfusion center, a shabby, skinny man looks around expectantly. He holds the hand of a child, an apparently malnourished boy, who fidgets nervously.

A woman passes by on her way to the center's entrance. The man asks her whether she needs blood. Only this remark gives a clue to the real purpose of the weird couple - trading blood for money.

"I lost my job and my wife abandoned me and the child. Now I have to take care of him, but I have no money. They shut down the plant I worked in and now it is impossible for me to find a job in our small town. That's why I give blood - for money," he explains to the woman.

She asks about the price. It is BGN 100. She says it is too high and after a bit of a haggling they settle on BGN 70. The woman, a cancer patient, has been through this procedure many a times, but in the capital Sofia, where she usually takes her chemotherapy. With cynic irony she notices that blood comes cheaper in this small town, where she is visiting her daughter. In Sofia the price tag is BGN 300.

She takes out the money and gives it to the man. Unexpectedly, the child grabs the notes from his hands, and starts jumping around happily. Then comes back to the woman and hugs her with his little hands. The child's eyes are smiling. So are his father's.

For the woman however the going gets tougher. Chaos reigns in the hospital and they tell her she needs to wait for the transfusion. One can see she does not feel well – she is very skinny and pale. There are no free beds and they put her on a chair.

A couple of hours pass.

She can't stand it any more and finally the nurses find a free bed. She lays there, her coat wrapped around her body to keep her warm. A patient switches on the TV set. The new health minister swears in.

The woman's mind swoons and she feels she will soon fall asleep. In her drowsiness she hears the words "administration", "management", "consensus"....The words and all the questions they trigger end up hanging in the air.

P.S: This is a true story.

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Tags: minister, health, hospital, blood, sofia


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