Siska’s Story

Patient name  Siska
Age  13 years old
Admission date  3 April 2009

Patient history

Siska was the eldest of a family of 2 children. Her story is a great human tragedy.

It all began when Siska came home from a 3-day camping trip with bad stomach pain and high fever. After multiple visits to doctors and alternative medicines, Siska was finally referred to Dharmais Cancer Centre (“RSKD”) where she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer with metastases to the kidney. Chemotherapy treatment was carried out, after various surgeries and kidney drainage.

In February 2008 in the middle of the treatment, Siska’s parents were separated causing much distress to her family and for Siska in particular. Her treatment had to be terminated with her father’s departure, while her mother had to return to work to support the family. Siska was left in the care of a young helper in a rented room that she and her mother had moved to. Siska’s brother was sent to live with his grandmother in Central Java.

At Rachel House

In April 2009, Siska’s case was brought to our attention by our social worker, Denny, who used to work at RSKD when Siska was warded there. By this time however, Siska was bedridden, suffering from serious malnutrition with major depression issues.

Physically, Siska had bedsores from lying in bed all day, with little help or care. Even though she was uncomfortable and in pain, Siska’s spirits quickly lifted when she saw Denny! She reminisced about the days when she could stroll the mall, being out and about with her friends. A typical yearning that a teenager would have… But sadly for Siska, in order for us to organize a trip to the mall, we needed to boost her strength so that she would be strong enough to sit in a wheelchair for several hours. We also needed to take control of the bedsores so that she could sit for a period of time.

A wheelchair was left in her home to encourage her to fight to get better. Our team visited her often to monitor her wounds. Siska adored visits from our team that broke the monotony of her days in bed and afforded her friendships that had stopped when she had become bedridden.

The nurses spoke to Siska’s mother for Siska to be admitted to our inpatient facility. However, due to her mother’s focus on the divorce, she felt that she could not manage the trip to the hospice, while managing her divorce proceedings. So, Siska in an amazingly mature moment, told our team that she did not wish to burden her mother any further and felt she had to obey her wish – even though she would have liked nothing better than be with our team at the inpatient facility.

Siska was taken to Central Java to be with her grandmother and her brother in early May, where she died several days later.