Outside the operating theater of a well-known government hospital at the center of town. Two armed men stood, guarding the room as two doctors were bent over the open abdomen of the young son of a wealthy minister. The surgery was thought to be a simple, uncomplicated one. And was to last for about an hour, but then an hour passed, beads of nervous sweats covered the foreheads of the doctors who were in charge. And when it became apparent that things were going askew was when distressed Dr. Salimah pulled from her hands gloves covered in blood and rushed out of the theater. She washed both her hands quickly. The surgery was going to be a success, a senior colleague had assured her. He had said it was uncomplicated and with no risks. But few minutes in, just after she tore him with a scalpel, she had seen otherwise, the risks were elegant and numerous.
“I need you now!” she said barging into the empty office of her senior colleague.
“Oh no!” she exclaimed, as she found it empty. She went into the medical directors’ office, and when she barged in, he sat uprightly displaying discomfort at the sudden intrusion.
“Aren’t you supposed to be operating?” he asked.
“I need your help. Please, I do not have time.”
The old man frowned, he hadn’t planned for any of this today. If for anything, she should know he was retired. But he did not need to take a second look at her to know she was desperate, and that it was a life and death situation. He went with her and on their way, she briefed him on the case.
“He is going to wake up any moment from now,” the student doctor said, as they entered. The young lad managed to hide his fear.
Dr. Salimah watched intently as the medical director took over. His hands moved both mechanically and meticulously. Even after watching him all these years, to her it remained a medical wonder. In merely thirty minutes, the surgery was over and a success. Dr. Salimah could not thank him enough, and behind closed doors she gave him a kiss on the cheek, but this time it was a kiss given to a father by the daughter. But soon after, things went acrid as he demanded to know what happened.
“Salimah, how many time have I told you? Do not venture into things you can’t handle. Know all the risks before you get involved.”
“I really thought I could handle it.”
“After all these years and you still make assumptions… Salimah, it’s either you can or cannot! Call a spade a spade, especially when dealing with a person’s life.”
“No more excuses, it is better you stay away from the theater; just be a doctor my dear. Remember there is no best doctor, there are only good doctors.”
“But you know, I can do it. I handle my cases very well and I am sure that was why I was recommended to do this one. What happened was that this case was not well defined. You know I am good. Dad, I am just like you.”
“I see the kind of cases you’re interested in. You like wealthy people who can fill your pocket and give you a name. Salimah, you are not a politician, and these wealthy people can destroy you with your own knife. Remember, a doctor doesn’t save lives because of name or fame, and it’s always better to count the number of lives you’ve lost before those you have saved.”
“I don’t know why you think of me this way, I do all this for fame? I really want to help and it’s because I can.”
“You can leave my office now. I never want to see you running in here, like a man whose house has been set on fire. Leave!”
Salimah stood, and at the door she said with a forced half-smile, “It will never repeat itself again, Dad.”
In response, the medical director peered at her from under his round glasses and when she shut door behind her, he slumped into his chair, pulled the glasses out of his tired eyes and began to rub them, at his age he could only give advice and as always, watch it go neglected.
Salimah exhaled deeply as she sat on her office chair. Agitated, she picked up her cellphone which was lying idly and her eyes shone as she read the message her fiancé sent.
Hello salimah, I know you might be busy but I wanted to let you know that my flight landed safely at Mutamba airport 9; 00pm. This means I will be seeing you soon. I hope it is easy for you to tell, that I can’t wait to see that lovely face of yours.
She checked her time and smiled. She also couldn’t wait to see him, especially to tell him what her father had just said to her. She fought the urge to call him. It had been a long two weeks without him, but it was finally over. She read the message again and when she managed to quit smiling, she called her senior colleague. It went to voice mail severally. The medical director would be more than upset if he knew that it was him who put her up to perform a surgery which hadn’t been approved of. She felt very silly for believing that he was looking out for her, by placing her to do surgery for such wealthy people.
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