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A color ink drawing of two small boys in orange clothing sitting, receiving enzyme replacement. Two women in a white lab coats are standing near the boys.

'Enzyme Replacement'
(ink drawing with tempera, 21.5 x 29')
©May H. Lesser


At a public hospital in New Orleans, I drew two small boys, placid yet frightened, receiving enzyme replacement for Gaucher's Disease. The drug costs about $120,000 a year and is given to them by the pharmaceutical company who made the discovery. It is a small intimate room, the intravenous drip was going well and the nurse began to share her thoughts with me. "I just came back from Romania. I went with Catholic Charities to teach sterile nursing techniques, but when I got there, there was nothing to keep sterile ... no equipment, no food, no nurses, no diapers. It was so much worse than what was seen on television." She tried to reconcile poverty and human waste there and the modern research and its cost for the boys here. There is no answer.