Hola a todos, mis queridos amigos.

A couple of weeks ago I received an email from Lic. Mª Isabel Morales, a pediatric and neonatal intensive care nurse. She is Venezuelan, but lives and works in Cordoba (Argentina).

And she shared a reflection after reading the post Children under…not admitted by Ángela Alonso, that is going to be published soon as a “From the Inside” in Intensive Care Medicine.

She spoke of a completely unknown reality (at least for my): in the Pediatric ICU where she has worked for so many years, there was always a rule absurd and without sense (psychological, or scientific or human foundation): ONLY DAD AND MOM CAN ENTER.

On the visit of the paediatric critically ill patient, in that part of the world only parents are permitted to enter in the PICU, limiting entry to other family members. Amazing.

Not all children are unconscious, there are very awake and talkers and many are old enough to understand many things and ask for others. She told me the following story:

“A few weeks ago a boy was admitted. He was tall for his age, about seven years old, with awake and inquiring blue eyes. He had surgery to remove a material of osteosynthesis of a previous surgery.

Since I entered into his box (he was in an isolation area as a glass box), he asks me (in a tone which showed that he already knew the answer):

– “Can grandparents enter to visit the kids here?

I looked at him and I said:

-“No, my darling, only dad and mom”.

He looked low and answered: – “Ah”.

I could understand what was happening: he was a boy loved by their grandparents, “consented to the grandparents” I really thought.

During the visit his grandfather could sneak and look out of the door, where the guy could be seen, and he just looked exactly his gaze (I would say that a strange extrasensory connection grandparentage made him to look exactly at the door at the exact time) and he saw his grandfather at the door. He raised his hand punctured by a peripheral catheter and in a gesture of the most sincere beautiful and sweet complicity saluted and smiled to his grandfather, a tall man with an incredible blue eyes exactly as my patient, who only smiled smile to convey absolutely everything he wanted to say.

It was really a magical moment, interrupted by the voice of one of the doctors in the area saying:- ” Mister, only father and mother, please leave the ICU”.

I looked at the guy and I say:-” Your grandfather and your are equal!”. Because it was really in this way, my patient was a young version of that sweet grandpa, and that child in an intensive care bed at the time with his parents, outlines a big smile of pride and tells me “Yes, everybody says it”…

It was clear. That guy and his grandfather had that connection, that magic thread through generations between grandchildren and grandparents… It is not the first time that I see it, it is not the first time I hear it. The child psychologists talk about the fundamental pillar, the magical complicity between children and grandparents.

Recently I read that the grandfather of a child in intensive care suffering twice, first by his grandson that is the long and sweet of his own children and second by seeing suffering to their son and the inability to protect both. We have perhaps forgotten that grandparents are the link of the child with the past, the link that holds together the generations and the emotional and moral basis of many children… Some even prefer and ask during their stay by their grandparents…

The question is this: who are we to break that complicity based on love, long hours of stories, walks to the park or in the garden; that link generational; that discipline with love and some indulgent permit, that link only the grandparents and grandchildren complete?

Maybe, just maybe, a day of visits for grandparents would not be such a bad idea in the Pediatric ICU, which are not yet fully open doors units”.

Nothing to add. Many, but many things to be done.

Happy Friday,