There are many Hospitals dedicated to children. I have known most Hospitals to have a children's wing in them. The one I went too today is Children's Hospital on Sunset near Vermont just East of Hollywood California. I go their a lot. I hate it, I love it.
I began to think of the little ones that go to a world class Emergency Room lucky. I have visited morgues, filthy apartments, ritzy houses, and train tracks where the innocent ones had little chance.
Childrens Hospital lacks all the charm of your standard institution. The smell of disinfectant, laced with what ever that is being brought in on a food tray, plus what ever that is for an excuse for coffee at the kiosk blends into what is known as funk. There is no funk their, like it's not allowed. They have a funk police, and they have real power. The entire hospital is made to keep kids calm. It is more beautiful and expansive than most of the homes and over cramped apartments they come from. The walls are colorfully painted with animal themes and floral patterns. The floors lack ick. Ick is the nearly sticky, not sure if you will slip on it, feel, common to, jails, prisons, and the institutional housing of minors deemed not safe for the public. They have an ick police, I wonder if they share the same office with the funk police. There is a helicopter pad on the roof. Time is critical when life threatening injuries happen. Time gets shorter as the body gets smaller.
It was a string of calls from ACU, the Abused Child Unit that got me hating going to see children in the emergency room or ICU, the Intensive Care Unit. Neglect and stupidity can kill a child, when the same is rendered on an adult, it only results in a life lesson.
I get to the main lobby on a hot night like only Los Angeles can get. Anxiety mixed with car fumes makes a funk that is hard to wash off. I'm already not happy having been to one of the worst cases of stupidity I have ever seen. A baby managed to roll around in detergent long enough for it to kill off most of his skin, he was given a twenty percent chance to live. He was a black baby with the kind of adorable cherub face you would expect to see in used an advertisement for some national brand. Photographing what should have been covered in dark soft skin is something I don't allow myself to forget. I will never forget that their is always someone dumber...
Now I have to find my detectives wondering what I would be getting into now. I call him on his cell, he tells me to find the giraffe elevator and go up to the PICU. I'm not really in a humorous mood. He also added an animal name for where they were specifically. I tried not to be terse but repeated his directions for the giraffe elevator, some animal name that's in a PICU. He said yes, I have worked with him many times and thought he just might be loosing it. Fine, I'll ask one of the security guards. I gave the security guard the information about the PICU and that animal name. He said to take the giraffe elevator to the fourth floor, repeated the animal name and said that is where the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit or PICU was located. I gathered the look on my face said, just take me their, please.
We went down a long winding hallway. There were excited voices of children playing among the colorful playground animals. Some were in tall wheel chairs, more like for wheel gurneys. They were obviously born with conditions that would see them dead soon in third world countries. The technology keeping them alive was a marvel. I saw them watching other children play, It looked like they were enjoying the show. It felt like a day at the park, a plastic, painted park with carpeting.