Friday, October 10, 2014

News From the Hospital

We spend a lot of time in hospitals.  Not surprising really, with our mission of providing life-saving surgeries to children who badly need them.  Hospitals are rarely a favorite-place-to-be, but we are so grateful for the medical facilities that help to work miracles in the lives of our children.

Most often the trips to hospital are planned in advance.  Grace, our Medical Director, liaises with hospitals, scheduling surgeries and consultations. We employ two drivers, and they spend a lot of time driving children and nannies back and forth between our village and various hospitals (often a two hour journey each way).

Even before our newest little girl, one-month-old Esther, arrived here, we knew that she would need to make a trip to the hospital very soon.  Her eyes are yellow where they should be white, a sign of her liver problems.

Esther’s orphanage had reached out to us, asking us to help because they knew that we have provided care for other babies with the same condition.  The hope for Esther was that she would be able to have an operation called the Kasai procedure, which can delay the need for a liver transplant by a number of years.

On a foggy Thursday morning, Karen and Kevin traveled into the city to sign the papers giving the go-ahead for Esther’s surgery.  Just after nine o’clock we got the message that the surgery had begun, and was expected to last for around three or four hours.  That’s a long time to wait anxiously and prayerfully outside the operating theater, waiting for a doctor to come out with news.

When the doctor did emerge, the report was positive.  They did the Kasai procedure, and were happy with how it went.  The following days would show how successful it had been.

Eli came to us at the end of May, a tiny two-month old with a grey-blue skin-tone, a symptom of his severe heart disease.  We had hoped that he would be able to gain some weight and strength before undergoing heart surgery, but this Tuesday night he developed breathing problems and his blood-oxygen levels fell very, very low.  We rushed him to the emergency room…

Tiny Eli lay in his bed in the emergency ward.  He slept and his breathing improved a little. His condition became stable enough for him to be transferred to heart hospital on Wednesday afternoon, with the hope that he would be able to have surgery soon.

On Friday morning we received news from the hospital. During the night Eli had developed a fever and had to be transferred to the NICU.  At the time of writing, that is where Eli still is, and we're waiting and hoping for the fever to go, and for him to be able to have heart surgery. We're so thankful for friends around the world who wait and hope with us, and for the wonders of social media that let us keep you all updated.

News from the hospital is posted on Facebook and Twitter as we receive it.

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