Doctor volunteers to offer low-income family free surgery
Doctor Shih Jin-Chung from Taiwan recently shared a very special story on Facebook. The story was about a pregnant woman who was transferred to his outpatient clinic. When the doctor saw the ultrasound image of the woman's belly, he quickly realized this was a case of placenta accreta, a dangerous condition where the placenta attaches abnormally to the uterine wall.
Placenta accreta can cause heavy bleeding after a woman gives birth; if the bleeding is severe enough, the condition can even be life-threatening.
When he realized what was going on, Dr. Shih asked the woman if she had adequate health insurance. Apparently the cost of the treatments for this condition can be extremely high — upwards of $4,800 for a single injection. The pregnant mother was shocked and shared that she was registered as low-income and didn't have any insurance. She began sobbing.
She was clearly afraid for her own and her baby's future. When the doctor returned to her side, he saw her husband sitting next to her looking distressed.
"I didn't have a choice. This patient needed surgery," Jin-Chung said. Little did the woman know, this doctor had a wish when he began studying medicine: to save women's lives, especially when they couldn't afford it. So, the doctor quickly scheduled the woman for surgery and said he'd do everything on a voluntary basis.
This young couple was extremely lucky. Four skilled doctors volunteered their time on the day of the surgery after hearing about the case. The whole team worked together to save the mother's and baby's lives. Doctor Jin-Chung was impressed by the turnout and the speed of the operation; the whole thing only took 40 minutes.
When they were finished, Doctor Jin-Chung went to share the news with the woman's husband. The man was in tears and slipped a crumpled red envelope into the surgeon's hand. It was full of money. The doctor imagined the man had gone to a lot of trouble to collect the funds. "I told him he didn't need to pay, we agreed to work on a voluntary basis," said the doctor. "Our hospital might take a small loss, but it is worth it, because we saved someone's life."
Thank you to all the selfless medical professionals out there. This family's life has been changed forever because of the consideration of a few generous people.