My family and I recently had the opportunity to accompany our disabled son to Germany. The purpose of the trip was to obtain an experimental adult autologous stem cell therapy in the hope that my son with cerebral palsy would somehow benefit from this developing technology. The clinic providing the service is privately owned and operated. It is the first of its kind in all of Europe.

Part of the procedure involved anesthesia which requires the patient to be fasting for several hours prior. Upon arrival at the clinic, the receptionist offered us drinks – apple juice, water, coffee. Our other children and I accepted the offer but did not wish to break the fast my son was still engaged in. When my wife read the paperwork she was filling out, we noted it said that fasting was not required. So, we gave a small amount of apple juice to our son. This was a mistake.

When it came time for the anesthesia to be administered, the physician asked if my son was still fasting. We informed him of the small amount of apple juice he just consumed. With this, the doctor became distressed and a bit agitated as the risk of aspiration while under anesthesia is significant. And so we waited an additional hour to begin the procedure.

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