Friday, May 30, 2014

A Happy Ending

It’s a pleasure to work here in Kijabe, Kenya for so many reasons.  Like any physician working in a resource-challenged environment, those of us here at Kijabe Hospital see more than our fair share of patients with late-presenting and difficult to treat problems.  We grieve with the families amidst tragedies that in another context might not be so devastating or even much of a problem at all.  The upside is that we are much more acutely aware of the reality of our constant need for Christ’s Hand to lead us and keep us going.  There are certainly joyous times as well where we get to smile with families and celebrate God’s healing here in this life.  

Today, we celebrated with Hiram and his family as he was discharged from the hospital.  This 3-year-old boy was bitten in his groin a couple of weeks ago by a neighbor’s dog.  When he showed up at the hospital, he had multiple puncture wounds from the dog’s teeth, but he also had no pulses in his leg indicating that the bites had injured the main artery going into his leg.  As we prepared to take him to the operating room, we went to the lab to make sure there would be blood available.  Unfortunately, there was no blood compatible so we began calling around to folks at the nursing school and at Rift Valley Academy (RVA).  Jeff, a dorm parent at RVA, came down immediately to donate blood.  After a 5 hour operation in the middle of the night to reconstruct the main artery in the leg, Hiram was taken to the ward with pulses in his feet.  He has recovered steadily and began taking some steps over the last 2 days.  As I think about all the pieces that went into saving his leg :

1.     Well-trained anesthetists available in the middle of the night to put a 3 year old to sleep
2.     Folks like Jeff who make themselves routinely available to donate blood
3.     Friends and colleagues like Rich who came to the hospital at 4am when he wasn’t on call to bring his Doppler machine and to give me some good counsel
4.     Nurses who care all day and night for patients like Hiram
5.     Hiram’s family who were able to procure some anti-rabies medicine from the national hospital
6.     Resident physicians who are eager and willing to learn and help out with patients
7.     The Hand of God guiding all of us to bring His Kingdom on earth as it is in Heaven

I’m exceedingly grateful, humbled, and honored to be able to get to do what I do here in East Africa with friends, colleagues and fellow laborers in Christ.

Hiram's mother has given me permission to share his story and this photo with you.

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