We would like to go to Kyoto for the treatment
Request for the therapy from patients of foreign countries were not unusual. As of April 1992, we had treated children suffering from lymphatic malformation of 57 medical facilities in 22 foreign countries. Among these patients, a few came over to Kyoto for the treatment.
A rough estimate of the medical fees was informed to them. They required inexpensive accommodations (around $100 per night). Sanjo-Karasuma Hotel, on the bus route to the hospital, was chosen and booking was made for them. Carlos’s hospitalization was scheduled for October 1992 and dates of examination were booked accordingly.
It was at the end of August when Dr. Morino gave me a phone call. “Is there any possible way to have Carlos be treated as a ‘patient for clinical study’ ? His family had raised money from the sale of their house and car to pay for the medical expenses.”
“Patient for clinical study” is a system where the patient accepts an experimental or developmental treatment for further study of the treatment, or where the patient will be able to get free treatment in compensation for full cooperation to the learning of medical students. This system was applied to the people who were unable to pay for the medical expenses.
In other words, Carlos’s family had not enough money to come over to Kyoto to get treatment. I do not know about level of life in Mexico. It was only recently that I read in a newspaper that the minimum wage per hour in Mexico is US$1.50. I am still not able to estimate the price for that Carlos’s family sold their house and car. I knew nothing about Carlos’s long fight against his illness. All these stories came to my attention much later.
Trusting a foreign doctor in a foreign country, and to putting the life of their son in the doctor’s hands, required a lot of courage. As a doctor, there was nothing more grateful to be trusted so much. The only words in my heart were, “I want to be of some help for them!”