The nurse was opening an intravenous catheter needle to connect an IV, and held Arum’s arm.
“Please do it without causing any pain.”
Arum closed her eyes, and then Suhyuk’s voice came into her ears.
“Let me do it.”
He held her hand gently. Her blood vessels were subtle, typical of children, but it was not a problem to him.
Making a frown, Arum, who was very much scared, let out a moaning sound even before he injected the needle.
With a smile, Suhyuk said, “You can draw pictures very well, right?”
At that moment she cast her eyes in the back, where there was a sketchbook on the bed.
“Yes, can I show you?”
When he nodded, she reached for the sketchbook in a cheerful mood.
At the moment, she cried, “Ouch!”
At the sharp pricking on her hand, she turned back her head instantly.
Already the needle was put in her hand before she knew it.
With a sulky look, she looked at him and said, “I dropped my guard...”
At her cute reply, he smiled before he knew it.
“Now, let me look at your sketchbook.”
Stamping her feet, she opened the sketchbook.
There was a square-shaped house, with flowers in the garden, plus a pretty puppy.
“Good drawing. Whose house is it?”
“If I make a lot of money someday, I’m going to live with my mom here.”
Suhyuk stroked her hair gently, and observed her look.
If she had a brain tumor, she would feel headaches and pain, but she looked normal to him.
“Let me go to the restroom,” said Suhyuk.
There was no smile on his face when he was going out of the room.
Then a woman doctor greeted him, “What brought you here?”
She was Dr. Oh Jinhee, who was in charge of him when he was doing his internship at the pediatrics department.
“Hello, do you happen to know patient Han Arum?”
With a bitter smile, she looked at Arum’s nameplate placed next to her door.
“Yes, I know her.”
“Then, do you know why they are injecting tonic only?”
Oh knitted her brows at that because she felt his way of speaking was kind of reproaching.
“Hey, your way of speaking...”
“Please show me patient Han’s medical record, CT and MRI.”
Oh took off her horn-rimmed glasses hysterically and said,
“Hey, do you think I don’t want to treat her?”
Scrutinizing him up and down, she opened up her mouth again,
“Don’t be arrogant like that when you don’t know the reasons!”
She stared at him as if she was going to get at him, and so did he.
“Then, what is the reason that I don’t know?”
Then a nurse rushed to her, saying, “Dr. Oh, patient Migyung’s guardian is making a big fuss again...”
Oh, staring at him, let out a sigh and said, “You, see me later!”
When she disappeared, he went to the desk of the pediatrics department.
“I’d like to check patient Han Arum’s medical record.”
The nurse working on something, with her head lowered, recognized him and said,
“Oh, I saw you on TV. By the way, what did you say a moment ago?”
“Well, I said I wanted to check patient Han Arum’s medical record.”
She wore an embarrassed look.
“Only the primary physician or the professor in charge has access to that...”
Suhyuk said with a gentle smile, “Please…”
A flush mounted her face. Stroking her face, she soon opened her mouth,
She thought to herself she would not be in trouble because she showed it to him for a moment.
Guided by the nurse, Suhyuk moved.
He was looking at the monitor quietly.
In the image shots of the CT and MRI, there was a small tumor in her brain.
“It’s not malignant.”
Malignant tumors are complex junctions within the brain, which gradually divide the normal brain cells and spread malignant cells. This makes it difficult to remove through drugs, radiation therapy, or surgery. However, benign tumors are different. Tumors that are isolated by themselves can be separated anatomically and cured if removed completely. However, if it can not be removed by surgery, it can not be cured, just like a malignant tumor.
Suhyuk checked Arum’s medical record, filled with medical terms.
However, there was no mention of treatment of the brain tumor, just as he expected.
Left untreated, she would lose the chance for treatment at the right time.
Nobody could expect what would happen later.
The nursed whispered to him, looking around cautiously, for fear of being caught.
Rising from the seat, he opened his mouth, “What about her family?”
“Looks like she has a mother only.”
“Her treatment was stopped for reasons of money, I think,” said Suhyuk.
Wearing a regrettable look, she nodded.
At the same time a sigh came out of his mouth.
‘What the heck is this money, money, money…’
Suhyuk momentarily thought of the pediatrician doctor.
Then he moved instantly.
“Sir, Dr. Lee Suhyuk wants to see you.”
Putting down the phone, a secretary smiled at him.
“You can just go in.”
He went into the office right away.
“Come on in. Can you have a seat and wait for a minute?”
Suhyuk waited for him for about 10 minutes.
“So, why do you want to see me out of the blue?”
“One patient is hospitalized at the pediatrics department now. Though she has a brain tumor, she was getting only tonic injections.”
The director nodded his head.
“Because of money?”
“Yes, I came here to ask if there is anything we could do for her.”
The director made a bitter smile.
“I’m afraid we can’t, regrettably.”
“Do you remember that we went to the shanty town to give free treatment? I think the image of our hospital could be improved if we treat her for free…”
“You know one thing, but not two.”
With a little sigh, he opened his mouth again,
“How many such patients do you think we have here? Very, very many. They are all paying for their bills by borrowing money. If we treat her for free, then other patients will ask for the same thing…”
In short, the point was that it was against the principle of equal treatment, and he said Daehan Hospital was not a charity hospital.
Listening to him quietly, he rose up and said, “Got it, sir. Goodbye.”
When he opened the door to leave, the director’s voice stopped him,
“Don’t be too disappointed. Hope you can think of those who are working here for a living...”
He was referring to the medical staff.
Suhyuk went out of the office, and went to see Prof. Han Myungjin to seek his advice.
“What should I do, sir?”
“You should just go ahead and treat her. Why are you asking me?”
“Because I belong to the cardiothoracic surgery department, while the patient is hospitalized at the pediatrics department…”
“That’s what I mean. Why are you asking about it? If you have a will, you can treat her.”
Suhyuk let out a long sigh at his answer. Han was just making a smile that was generous and warm. Though he did not say anything, it looked like he was giving some kind of reply.
Then, Han said, “Go away, now!”
Rising from the seat, Suhyuk said with a smile, “Okay, then.”
“Hey! Leave your phone and pager here.”
“Don’t you know that there are many staff here looking for you. Just leave them here until you treat the patient. Let me take care of other things.”
Suhyuk put down his cell phone and pager on the table, and looked at Han.
“Let me come back later then.”
“Don’t be too late.”
Walking on the bridge leading to the pediatrics department, Suhyuk stopped.
Lots of people could be seen passing outside the hospital, chatting and smiling, showing bright looks.
Not a single person among them was aware of Han Arum’s pain.
How can I be of any help to her? Paying out of my own pocket?
Even though he wants to do it, he cannot because he already gave his bank deposit to his parents, and the money was not enough, either.
Looking down from the bridge quietly, Suhyuk moved again, and soon arrived at the pediatrics department. When he was about to enter Han’s room, he ran into a woman.
He stopped her who was about to enter her daughter’s room.
“Are you her guardian?”
She turned back. She was in her late 30s.
Given her carelessly tied hair, it seemed she just got back from work.
He could feel some sort of fatigue from her look.
“Did you ask me a question?”
“Hello, I’m Lee Suhyuk, a surgeon here.”
“Oh, hello, Doctor.”
“Can I talk with you a little bit?”
She nodded after looking at him for a moment.
He took her to a break area at the end of the hallway.
Taking out a canned coffee from a vending machine, he handed it to her.
Suhyuk opened his mouth then,
“Arum needs an immediate surgery.”
Grabbing her coffee cup, she nodded and said,
“Actually I am going around here and there. Looks like I need three million won for the surgery… Can you go ahead and perform surgery first? I’ll pay as soon as I get the money. Please...”
Putting down the canned coffee, Suhyuk held her hands.
She had tears welled in her eyes, but she still did not shed those tears.
She should not cry, because she was a mother.
Suhyuk nodded, holding her hands.
He now clearly knew her situation.
He opened his mouth, “Don’t worry.”