When Emerlinda came to CEML the 6-year old had already been vomiting up blood for days. Other medical professionals had been unable to diagnose her condition.
CEML gave Emerlinda blood transfusions but the vomiting of blood continued. Dr. Stephen Foster performed an endoscope to determine whether her condition could be repaired through surgery, but the endoscope did not lead to the source of the bleeding.
Dr. Foster made preparations to remove the large bowel, which he considered a likely source of the bleeding, but to his surprise discovered that her gall bladder was quite distended and full of blood. A blood clot had formed in the cystic artery, which provides blood to the gall bladder. Dr. Foster placed a clamp to stop the bleeding.
Conferring with his colleagues at McMaster University about this unusual case, Dr. Foster was informed this was a rare condition called hematobilia, with roughly 13 cases recorded in medical literature.
Dr. Foster monitored Emerlinda for a few more days to ensure the vomiting had ceased. On the day he was ready to discharge her, Dr. Foster prepared to pray with her. Recognizing she was a bright 6-year old he asked, “Emerlinda, would you like to pray too?” Emerlinda whispered, “yes.” Then she prayed, “Dear God, thank you for letting me stay alive. I have been very sick. Please don’t let me be sick again. I pray that all the other patients will get better too.”
Children like Emerlinda are treated every day at CEML. She embodies our motto, “Restoring health; providing hope.”