“These children can be saved.”
“My favorite part is when the patients that I took care of come back, and I don’t even recognize them. Just today, I had a patient that I took care of three months ago. He came back and he gave me a hug. He is doing phenomenal.”
Dr. Asha Shenoi’s patients are children—children she sees at some of the most difficult times in their lives. Her work in the pediatric ICU at UK HealthCare’s Kentucky Children’s Hospital allows her to help seriously ill children make incredible recoveries.
“The pediatric ICU is a place where scientific inventions combine with the humanistic side. The majority of our patients get better, and when they get better, we see them for the rest of their lives. They have such a good quality of life.”
Dr. Shenoi’s work has taken her far beyond the doors of the ICU at KCH. Inspired by her mentor at Emory University, she spreads the knowledge and best practices that save lives at KCH by educating doctors and nurses across the globe.
“The focus is on training the pediatricians to recognize a really sick child, and institute the therapies within their resources. A lot of these children can be saved if you have interventions done in a timely and systematic manner. So what saves lives is timely interventions within the resources.”
Over the past five years, Dr. Shenoi has taught ten courses in seven different countries, including Haiti, Vietnam, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Lucia, India, and, most recently, Rwanda.
For Dr. Shenoi, and the team of international physicians who come together to teach these courses, the goal is to help improve the health of the region long-term. They don’t provide care to patients—instead, they train local nurses and doctors.
“We can provide these courses to pediatricians and train them as trainers so you can ensure the sustainability of this course, rather than just going to a place, providing clinical care and coming back.”
“Every time, I learn so much more than I teach. How much grit and perseverance they have to communally take care of these children with limited resources, coping with the loss and the frustration of not having enough resources to save a child’s life. I’m really humbled by their resilience, and their grit. It’s amazing.”
No matter where she is—at home in Kentucky or on the other side of the world—for Dr. Shenoi, it always comes down to helping children. “It’s a tiring process to be in the ICU, but it’s a privilege to be able to help children. It’s a true honor. I cannot describe it, but it’s very, very meaningful.”