In my final year of training at Baylor in Houston, I was blessed to be selected as a Chief Resident in Pediatrics at the Texas Children’s Hospital. During that time I had a “side job” of starting IVs for the injection of a dye to evaluate kidney problems.

It so happened that the president of Panama who was visiting Houston developed “renal colic”, a very severe pain usually caused by a kidney stone. He was brought to the St. Luke’s Hospital ER and I was charged with getting an IV started.

I searched the usual sites, the “antecubital fossae“, where they usually draw your blood at the front of your elbow, but he was rather stout and I could not find a vein there. [the most difficult ever was in a severely dehydrated child where the only place available was the jugular vein in the neck] Eventually I settled on one in the back of his right hand.

I introduced the needle, and immediately the vein “blew”, or leaked. I was starting to sweat, as his bodyguards were hovering close by. I then used one on the back of his left hand, and thankfully it was successful; I’m not sure what my fate would have been had it not!

The chief of radiology at Texas Children’s used to tell patients if he blew a vein that “we have your right kidney injected, now we have to inject for the left”. Anyway, that’s what he told me.

So, the president of Panama got tested and treated, and that was the closest I have ever been to a prominent political figure. I praise the Lord for getting me through that one!

Dr. Jones

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