Sunday, January 10, 2010

A tour of words

I wanted to give everyone an update of what is going on here. You have seen pictures and heard stories of what is going on here, but today I wanted to take you on a little tour of our hospital with words. I would like to tell the story of every patient, but that would be too long. Instead, I will give you a few examples. This post WILL CONTAIN MEDICAL INFORMATION. If that is not your thing, you can skip to the bottom where it says SUMMARY. The most important thing to realize is that there are a lot of people who need help, and we are trying to provide it.

There are seven buildings that we are using for inpatient care areas right now, and then there are some available for overflow as well.

We will start as the doctor usually does in the Salle de Soin (literally room of care). This is a nursing station, post op care room, intensive care unit, and emergency room rolled into one. Currently there are three patients in this room.

One is a 33 yo refugee who paid to have an abortion, and the nurse doing it ruptured her uterus, pulled out her intestines, and then told her there was nothing more to do. After she arrived here, Dr. Fuka was forced to do a hysterectomy, cut out all of her rectum and create a colostomy. The colostomy is a piece of intestine hooked to the skin and functions to let stool out. This will be permanent for her. The other is a 6 yo boy with severe anemia (hematocrit of 7 w normal being 35-45) and hepatitis C as well. The 3rd is a 15 yo who chose (or was forced) to fight with the rebel forces and now has several wounds. The worst is in his right arm where the bullet injured his nerves in his arm. Now he has electric pain shooting down his arm.

Moving on to the maternity ward, we have 2 preemies in here, a handful of normal deliveries, and one very large full term infant born to a refugee mom. The mom started her labor 2 days before she came to us. On the second day of her labor, she went to a health clinic about a 1/2 day away. They saw she was 8cm dilated, and they decided to rupture her membranes. The baby's hand came out, but he was stuck. He was not head down like he should have been but was lying cross ways. She came to us the following day. We looked for signs of life in the baby with a doppler and ultrasound, but saw none. We did a c-section to get the baby out and to save the mom's life. Just before we did that, we placed the baby's hand back in the uterus. However, once the baby came out, he started to cry! He is now off oxygen and is trying to nurse.

The next room is the woman's medicine ward. Here we have a woman who received HIV and probably her Tb from her now deceased husband. She has been here for 6 weeks. She is all alone with no one to care for her. We are trying to show the love of God to her while she is here.

The next room is the pediatric ward, and I could write a post just about that. I will say that it is full-- 10 kids in 8 beds. (We have two sets of twins here.) There are 3 with the flu, 3 with malaria, 2 with dehydration, and one with malnutrition. All three of the kids with flu were born premature and then caught the flu. One is critically ill.

In the men's medicine ward we have a man who has conjunctivitis and something called iritis in both eyes. He is now functionally blind. He is slowly responding to treatment but really needs an ophthalmologist or optometrist. There is also the man who is newly diagnosed with HIV, and he is struggling to have the courage to tell his wife and get his kids tested.

Moving to the surgical men's ward there are 8 men, 7 of which have conflict related wounds. This ranges from a police officer with cut tendons in both hands, to two men with broken femurs; from gunshot wounds, to an amputation of an arm for the same.

IN the surgical woman's ward there are 5 women. One who had a ruptured ectopic pregnancy, three war wounded and one elderly lady who had her gall bladder out. One of the war wounded is an 11 yo girl who needed her right leg amputated at the knee for infection after a gunshot wound. She has displayed remarkable spirit and his slowly getting better.

We currently have about 37 patients around 15 of which are here because of the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo. I would ask you to pray for the 3 infants with the flu, Heretier (who is a 15 yo with pain from a gunshot wound nerve injury),the 33 yo woman who lost her uterus secondary to a botched abortion), and a man newly diagnosed with HIV. Pray that he would have the courage to tell his wife and that there would be reconciliation there.

Pray also for our team at this time. Some of our patients are very hard to love, and there is so much loss and sadness sometimes it hurts to much to care. Pray that we would be able to live with the Joy of Christ even as we weep His tears of pain for the pain and suffering that we see around us. Thanks for partnering with us and showing interest in what God is doing through us.


mom Palin said...

Wow this tour of words so ministered to me. It made me understand how important it is to hold you and your team up in prayer. May God give you strength, wisdom, and his love to minister thru you. May He remind us to lift you daily. God bless you and yours as you serve him!!!

Megan @ Little Bella Bean said...

Oh my goodness, that could be overwhelming without the grace of God to sustain you!

May His grace and peace sustain to you to minister to them, and to have all wisdom and knowledge in how to help in their healing and restoration.

Blessings to you,

Lea said...

Thanks so much for visiting my blog because it caused me to visit yours and what a blessing it was to me! May the Lord bless you and your family and provide you with strength and mercy as you minister to these His children. I will add you to my prayer list.

Patty Grubb said...

Stephen, Anna and family
oh how we miss your sweet faces and presence at church! How many times we pray for you - each Sunday someone asks for prayer for you all during praise and prayer. When we were living at the Ronald McDonald House in 1999, I found it overwhelming to hear and see so many sad stories - just seemed too much to bear besides our own difficulties with Kelly's illness and treatment challenges that seemed enough to bear each day. But I wanted to listen to their stories, minister and encourage as i was able so how was I to do that? As i'm sure you know, you must must must lay all those hurts at the foot of the cross daily, before going to sleep, whenever you are overwhelmed. Christ is the one who wants to bear each of these burdens for you - Cast all your cares on Him because He cares for you. He will be so faithful to take those stories and all that pain off your shoulders, and bless you for listening and caring and showing His love.
God bless you so abundantly for your ministry, your courage, your evident love of Christ. We continue to lift you in prayer and know He will watch over you all.
Sending our love and missing you all......
Patty, Don, Molly and Rose Grubb