Chapters 11 & 12

I have almost been expecting chapter 11 for a while now. They had discussed that Lia’s seizures continued to worsen and I had a feeling that her big seizure was coming soon. It was very hard to read this chapter full of suffering and pain. Lia’s cousin suggested that the Lees call an ambulance to bring her to the hospital in order to get her treated quicker, but in fact the ambulance took so long it may have made things worse. Once arriving at the hospital, the Lees waited outside the room while the doctors actively tried to stop Lia’s seizure which ended up lasting 2 hours. Once the seizure had finally been stopped, Neil decided that it was best if she be transported to Valley Children’s Hospital. While the medical professionals thought they explained everything that had happened to Lia and gotten consent to move her, her parents truly had no idea what was going on. Once she got to VCH-ICU, it was clear that Lia was in septic shock. She was on the verge of death. During these next nine days, the Lees slept on the chairs in the waiting room and were only permitted to see Lia for 10 minutes every hour. They did not understand what was going on but were there to show unconditional love for their daughter. At the end of the chapter Lia was described as a vegetable and she was to be transferred back to MCMC for supportive care.

As a parent I truly cannot imagine this happening to my child. I cannot imagine watching my child suffer and nearly die and not fully understand what was even happening. I cannot imagine watching the doctors and medical providers running around trying to save her life and poking at her all over performing various tests and not even be able to speak their language. This summer I saw many parents lose their child, but I cannot fathom how different it would’ve been if they didn’t even truly understand why. I understand that during an emergency time they did not want to take the time to try to explain to the parents what was happening. But there were various other times in which I think it was extremely inappropriate for the medical providers to have not sat the Lees down and told them what was happening.

Chapter 12 describes the journey that the Lee family, as well as many other Hmong families, took from Laos to Thailand. During this trek, families were forced to leave behind loved ones, watch their loved ones die, step over dead bodies, and sacrifice things they never should’ve sacrificed. Some even killed their children if they were crying too much or making too much noise. The Lee’s lost 2 children along this journey. I truly cannot imagine what it must be like to leave your dead child behind and continue walking. It was crazy to read about their experience. My jaw was on the floor throughout most of the chapter as I could never imagine embarking on such a journey. After reading this chapter I wonder if the Lees think it was worth it? Do they believe that the life they are living now, having to go on with life having lost so many children and suffering so much, is worth it?


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