14-year-old A., from Afghanistan was hospitalized for a long time at the oncology clinic of ELPIDA hospital. The child’s condition kept getting worse with his doctors making everything possible to save him. His mother was fully informed and had been facing this daily ordeal, having already lost another child in her homeland, and also her husband in Mytilene where the family lived before the boy had to be hospitalized in Athens.
One day, the doctor on call informed us that the child unfortunately had passed away and that once again the contribution of our interpreter would be needed in order to inform the mother…
The mother, having an interpreter who spoke her own language, felt like she had someone of her family by her side and expressed the desire for her child to be buried next to his father in Mytilene. With the interpreter’s help, the mother received psychological support and through this painful process she managed to express her desire, which was fulfilled in the end. The interpreter was busy all day, not leaving the mother nor the doctors for a moment. He didn’t even want to take a five-minute break before the mother was fully informed by the medical staff.
In those awful moments, the interpreter’s presence was vital, managing to offer to the tragic mother this very small but, at the same so important support.
This is not the first time that our interpreters have been invited to help with such tragic incidents, in the hospitals of the mainland and the islands. The provision of interpretation at hospitals is a fixed need and METAdrasi has been trying to fill this gap in every possible way for the past ten years, having carried out over 116,000 interpretation sessions.
Since March 2019, the provision of interpretation to healthcare services and public hospitals in the mainland has been implemented with the support of the Commission’s Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs (DG HOME) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).