The Mater's Banksy has struck.  I hope the drawing doesn't get erased

The Mater’s Banksy has struck. I hope the drawing doesn’t get erased

Someone drew two googly eyes on the hospital elevator. When I see her I start laughing, maniacally – the perfect crazy supervillain-alone-in-an-elevator laugh. The black eyes peering from a whiteboard on the elevator wall are a welcome change from hospital canteen menus, reminding doctors to chart insulin for discharged patients — medicalized language with a medicalized message.

The eyes are different, a welcome infusion of something unheard of in an Irish hospital corridor: personality. I wonder how long they’ll survive as the only living thing inside the steel walls of the third-floor elevator, which often breaks down when it’s supposed to be transporting patients.

Ever since I could speak, I’ve been helping train doctors. My series of Marcel Marceau gestures that helped guide nervous medical students without alarming their examiners were legendary

Medical students at the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital in Dublin are familiar with this elevator. That’s where they hang out, in the old part of the building. One day I stood behind three young men who sounded so optimistic about the future of medicine that it brought tears to my eyes. I had to tell you one last thing to remember: Your chronically ill patients know a lot more than you think, so listen to them. The trio blushed. I felt like an elderly neighbor who got lost walking home and thought they were her grandchildren. A mad laugh would certainly get me out of there. In response, they gently stepped back.

Ever since I could speak, I’ve been helping train doctors. As a six-year-old, I made a decent living presenting myself as a case study for resident exams. My series of Marcel Marceau gestures that helped guide nervous medical students without alarming their examiners were legendary. I rubbed my wrist to signal why they were about to fail: no watch! I stroked my chin: check the tassels! I rolled my fingers over my knee: Check reflexes! More often than not, the clock was the most frustrating factor, especially when they had everything else: bed behavior, eye contact, enthusiasm, no fangs. But without the watch, it was an instant failure.

The elevator was recently broken for three weeks. I saw no enthusiastic faces bright and radiant against the steel. I wondered why it took so long to fix the elevator as the hospital knows they transport dialysis patients as well as medical students. Both elevators go to the third floor, but one doesn’t go there unless swiped with a valid ID. I dream of an Ireland where patients are a priority and easy entry requirements don’t require an Escape the Maze PhD. I dream of an Ireland where the ‘new’ dialysis unit will not open in a 19th century building, but where instead the future development of multidisciplinary lung transplantation and kidney care will be contemplated in the new Mater construction.

In the oldest part of the hospital, where the ghosts of nuns appear and pant, the eyes are a comforting reminder that someone else is witnessing and trying to make sense of things. I hope they don’t get deleted

The next time I entered the elevator, I saw a faint line under the googly eyes: the Mater’s Banksy had added what might be called a smile. i wanted more We need art on every inch of the hospital walls, especially in these old buildings. We need artists-in-residences in every medical field in Ireland to bring non-secular, open-hearted warmth. We need to change the way the system is and how we move within it. When I talk about art, I mean hope: a kind of reflection that comments on and celebrates the humanity of the people who work in this space and those who participate in it. A co-creation with care and community.

In the oldest part of the hospital, where the ghosts of nuns loom and howl, where the brown, dirty walls and long, ornate windows and endless, nondescript corridors blend into one another, the eyes are a welcome change. They are a comforting reminder that someone else is witnessing, trying to make sense of things, and speaking out through that tiny act. I hope they don’t get deleted.

We have to find a way to keep that energy in Ireland or these young doctors, overworked and underserved, will be gone. The empty advisor positions remain empty. Patients and staff will continue to feel desperate, anxious and alone, like plugging holes as their ship sinks deeper and elevators remain broken for three weeks.

Perhaps the uneven and nondescript eyes were a cry for help, an expression of chaos trying to do their best as a medical worker in a system that demands so much. Or maybe it was just a few seconds of pure pleasure on a lift ride.

#Maters #Banksy #struck #hope #drawing #doesnt #erased

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *