Sunday, May 4, 2014

An Overdue Update - from Erik

2014 has continued to be a busy time at the hospital.  We’re seeing healing and heartache, joy and frustration.  These are all part of life on this earth as we await our Savior’s return. We continue to pray for His Kingdom to come on earth as it is in Heaven.  

Some of the highlights of these last few months are:

1.  Edmond & Francine Ntaganda and family!  Edmond is a trained general surgeon from Rwanda who joined the pediatric surgery fellowship program here in January.  He and his family are an answer to prayer as we prepared in 2013 to accept the next fellow trainee.  They have two children and will be in the program for 3 years, anticipating graduation at the end of 2016. Edmond will become the first Rwandan trained pediatric surgeon. 

2.  Rick Jackson.  In January, Rick was gracious enough to come out to Kijabe for 2 weeks to help me with some complicated anorectal malformation patients.  Among other more “routine” cases, we operated together on 5 girls with cloacal malformations (Amanda doesn’t like me to get too graphic on the blog, so if you’re interested in what this is, you can view details here or here).  His time here was invaluable for me and the trainees as he greatly helped to “build capacity” as we care for these complex patients.

3.  Ron & Suzanne Sutherland. Ron and Suzanne have been out to Kijabe a number of times and over the years have invested heavily in the care of patients, the training of residents, fellows and consultants (like me), and the procurement of the necessary equipment to do the endoscopic and microsurgical work of pediatric urology.  Approximately 40% of the pediatric surgical work at Kijabe is urologic.  Without Ron and other pediatric urologists like him (including Lynn Teague who will be visiting in the Fall), we would not be able to care for these kids. 

4.  Doug Barnhart.  Doug has been a Godsend, willing to come for a couple of weeks at a time to relieve and cover for me.  I was able to attend the Surgical Society of Kenya meeting at the end of April as Doug watched over the service.  He’s already scheduled his 4th visit to help cover me in December of this year.  Many thanks to Jill and his kids who graciously let him globe-trot!

5.  Mike & Rosemarie Matlak.  Over the last 4 years, Mike and Rosemarie have spent about 2 years at Kijabe to help sustain the training program and invest in the lives of the children and mothers in the hospital.  Mike is a pediatric surgeon and has been an invaluable colleague to me and the program as a whole.  Rosemarie’s gentle spirit and deep love for Christ are played out as she spends hours alongside Chaplain Mercy loving on and encouraging the mothers and their children.

We’ve been able to experience Christ’s healing – physical and spiritual – in the lives of our patients.  As always, we are privileged to be able to be the hands and feet of Christ and grateful for all He is doing. 

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