I quickly skimmed through the rest of his chart. Mr. Lopes was an elderly Haitian man, a recent immigrant, who had visited the local emergency room for a bad headache, only to discover that his blood pressure was astronomical. Apparently, Mr. Lopes and his family considered him too sturdy a man to be retained at the hospital overnight, labeled as sick. So he fled.
And here he was, weeks later, to meet his new doctor. “BP: 190/100” read the nurse’s note in red.
All through November he prayed, “Please God, help this pain, and please help me find out what is wrong so I can heal.”
Through December: “Please God, when I see the doctor, don’t let it be cancer. And I beg you to please help this pain.”
In January and February his prayer changed to, “Please God, let the chemotherapy and radiation work.”