My mother’s father—my grandfather (Chen, YueSheng) was a healthy man. He enjoyed eating his share of food, watching TV, and reading newspapers. As an electrical engineer, he did his best to work out inventions that conserve energy or use alternative energy sources; in doing so, he was reducing pollution and helping other people live healthier. After he retired, he acquired a phenomenal health record for his age for his medical insurance. Each year, my grandfather had the usual physical exam at the same hospital in Shanghai, and he always checked out completely fine. All this changed, though, a few years ago.
The physical exams began picking up little indicators of his health problems. It started with a high blood sugar level. By April 2009, a mass was spotted in his right kidney by ultrasound. The tumor could have been benign or malignant; nobody could tell. But Dr. Sha, my grandfather’s physician, immediately suggested surgery, just for health precautions. Although many of his relatives like my grandma and my mom strongly opposed this, my grandfather decided to go through with it.
On May 8, my grandpa was admitted into the hospital. It did not take long before he was receiving insulin three times a day. My aunts and my uncle visited him every single day. They wanted to speak with Dr. Sha because they were worried about my grandfather’s condition. This whole time, Dr. Sha never gave any warning about my grandfather’s high blood sugar level.
Before the surgery, all seemed fine. The hospital kept asking my second aunt if she had the CT transparent. My aunt stayed overnight to take care of my grandfather, and he seemed all right the night before the surgery. On the morning of May 22, 2009, Dr. Sha removed my grandfather’s right kidney.
On May 23, my first aunt’s husband paid my grandfather a visit. In the afternoon, he found a pool of blood under my grandfather’s body. The doctor on duty changed the bandage for my grandfather and promptly left. In the evening, my first aunt replaced her husband. She held vigil and watched her dad lose more and more blood. My grandfather was in a bad mood. The nurse called the doctor on duty, but he did not arrive until the next morning. When he finally took a look at my grandfather, the doctor on duty then called Dr. Sha.
Dr. Sha came the morning of May 24. He did an ultrasound twice. At noon, my uncle and second aunt came to join my first aunt. They were scared; they had no idea what was wrong. Dr. Sha and my mom’s three siblings had a meeting in his office. It was then that he revealed to them that my grandfather had high blood sugar level. That was the root of the problem. He wanted to do surgery again to check if anything was wrong inside my grandfather’s body. My aunts and my uncle trusted that this was the way to treat high blood sugar level and consented to let Dr. Sha do what he wanted.
After the second surgery, Dr. Sha looked relieved and told everyone that it was going to be all right. He commanded the nurse to give my grandfather a blood transfusion and left. That night, my uncle was in charge. He saw the bag (1000 ml) was half full with blood after five hours. That meant that my grandfather had lost 100 ml blood per hour. Dr. Sha never stopped the bleeding. At midnight, another doctor on duty came. She took immediate action; she gave my grandpa blood-clotting factors. It took five hours, but my grandfather stopped bleeding the next morning.
On May 25, my mom, my sister, and I went to see my grandfather at the hospital. He was quickly moved to the Intensive Care Unit, which only allowed one visitor per day. Little did we know that after we left China, his lung would become infected.
After five weeks, the lung infection and other complications proved to be too much. While he was in the hospital, the city of Shanghai awarded my grandfather with a medal, in honor of one of his inventions. He never lived to revel in his glory because on the death date of Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett, my grandfather passed away as well. He was truly one of the great ones.