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A cell phone and a Chinese curse
  1. Gerard J Ventura
  1. Correspondence to Gerard J Ventura, Oncology, 4848 N.E. Stallings Drive, Nacogdoches, Texas 75965, USA; drventura{at}

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Juan Cortes (name changed) was in trouble. Just 30 years old, he was admitted through the Emergency Department to the Intensive Care Unit of our small community hospital with a fulminate bilateral pneumonia. Serology showed an acute mycoplasma infection, explaining why the ampicillin from another Emergency Room (ER) hadn't worked; with treatment, over the next week, he improved remarkably. I was consulted because of pancytopoenia, which I thought was a consequence of infection and which also improved as the week progressed. After discharge he resumed his work as a cook in a Chinese restaurant. He had worked here in East Texas, USA for half his life, having come up alone from Mexico at age 15; 8 years ago he married an American born woman and they now had three small children. He spoke little English, let his wife do the talking and was respectful and polite. Juan was stoic in a quietly tough …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; not externally peer reviewed.