By Sheyla Urdaneta.
Nelly de Boscan was 48 years old, and spent the last ten days of her life without being able to urinate, because of her severe kidney condition and lack of treatment. The last time she was connected to a kidney machine was May 4th.
“She became ill, I asked the doctors to help her, that what she needed was dialysis and they agreed, but her kidney collapsed,” with a voice broken, Gabriel Boscan, Nelly’s husband, told of the days of agony they spent in the hospital.
On May 10, Nelly spoke to El Pitazo on the phone and said, “I can’t find a way to beg them anymore,” and two days later she died.
Her husband said that she had been diabetic since she was 11 years old; as an adult, one of her kidneys reduced in size, and that because of “a bad treatment with iron, her other kidney collapsed”.
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“The last few weeks she got very sick, she didn’t urinate, she was very swollen and they didn’t dialyze her. That’s when the fatality occurred,” he said.
Gabriel said that although there is a dialysis unit at the University Hospital, they only treat those who are registered by Social Security.
“She wasn’t a regular patient because she went for an emergency. I told the doctors: I’m not a doctor, but what she needs is dialysis.” The widower reminisces. Doctors agreed with him but there was no place for her.
Patients have fear
At the University Hospital, there are three shifts to dialyze the regular patients, but since the quarantine by the COVID-19 started in March, all the patients try to get treated in the morning.
“Those that missed a session, sometimes, are the ones in the afternoon shift, because some of them don’t have a car, or do not have a way to buy gasoline, so it is difficult for them. If someone cannot arrive, they put the emergency patients,” he said.
He regretted that, like his wife, there are another 30 patients in similar situations.
On the day she died, Gabriel had to get her wife’s corpse down in a wheelchair. “I took my wife out dead a little bit after 6:00 in the morning because there are no stretcher-bearers there, and I had to take her down the stairs in a wheelchair. The other patients were crying because they cannot be dialyzed,” he said.
The situation gets worse in Maracaibo. Besides Nelly, another six kidney patients died in the last two weeks in the city, said Humberto Abreu, a 27 years old patient who goes every three days for treatment.
Kidney patients in the hospital not only share the disease, but also the fear. “Patients were crying because she had died, and they going to miss her after three months of sharing, but also, what I saw in their face they scared because, next time, it could be them,” said Boscán.