Power forward

Roodelande Mathieu, 21, plays the 4 spot, power forward, for Ayiti Athletique women’s basketball team. Or did.

In June the coach, I feel like I’ve known him all my life, gave her punishment laps, and then benched her for failing to hustle.

But that wasn’t it.

Power forwards play with their back to the goal, adroit with hip and shoulder shimmy, and they lift weights, girls, too. These are not retiring people, and they are not small. They hustle.

Witness Stanford standout Okwumeje, who schooled my daughter Maura, herself no slouch, in AAU ball.

Anyway, I’ve seen a lot of 4 players, made a regular study of them back in Maura’s heyday.

Roodelande doesn’t look right, and they asked me to see her in between.

She is really jaundiced, and her hair is thin and brittle. I bet her bilirubin is 30.

And her thyroid is enormous, with a hum, but no specific nodules.

She was in congestive heart failure, is compensated now, but with a great big heart, not from Bball.

Great big right ventricle on the echo.

And her belly is full of ascites- they’d already tapped 5 liters off, and described it as “chocolate.”

Her liver sonogram shows more ascites, no dilated ducts and no mass, and her liver is small.

And edema to her hips, and she bleeds easy.

So I wish we had some numbers, but they’re hard to get.

I guess she has thyrotoxicosis and they poisoned her liver with Propylthiouricil, which apparently can happen, new to me. The pills she was taking look like PTU in Hippocrates, and she was on propranolol, too, so it’s not an entirely fact free discussion.

But now what?

Gary, can you send the link to Maria Prelipsean, ask what to do about her endocrine state, and maybe Gary Abroms, ask if he’s seen PTU hepatitis before, what are her chances?

Hard to say much to the parents, let alone the Ayiti Athletiquers, reduced to playing an outside finesse game, can’t win if you can’t penetrate.

That poor girl. What can be done for her?

Still too soon to say.

My smart partner, Gary Mollengarden, got through to everybody, and they sent their advice. The remainder of the week was a scramble for acetyl cysteine and steroids, vitamin K and lactulose, and after a couple days, she woke up a little and ate more. Blood clotting got a little better, and her thyroid wasn’t any worse.

Not a great picture, but she looked a little better.

Her thyroid held steady, and we’re waiting for her liver to recover. After it does, she’ll need surgery to remove her thyroid, and some Iodine pre-operatively…but just before surgery, not too soon. Nobody thought it was safe to substitute methimazole for PTU, and one out of three hepatologists, Gary Abrams, said her liver would recover if we could protect her kidneys. So far, we did.

So I’m voting with him.

Great to hear she has improved a bit. Saving a life is an amazing gift, forever unequalled.

Let her team shoot threes.
If she is ever on her feet again, they will all have won the final game.

No luck.

She died of liver failure yesterday.

My heart is torn.

I’m so sorry…

Dr. Richard,

I’m so sorry!

My sincere condolences. I can only imagine the deflated feeling of giving it all you have to no avail.