Monday, December 14, 2009

Patient Updates!

Friends and family,
Today we were very busy for a few hours in our small emergency room as some apparent African BEES from a local coffee processor escaped and swarmed over several passer bys in town. We had five emergencies from this incident, one unconscious, two went to the hospital, by ambulance. The unconscious person was a wheel chair person, who was sitting peacefully in front of the church when he was stung several times. I just came back from visiting him in his home as he was discharged and recovered after four hour treatment in the hospital. We were very grateful that we now have oxygen available in our small emergency room which was put to good use. One of the doctors from the local government clinic came to assist us as we had necessary medicine available and the patients were arriving to our clinic and our doctor on vacation.

I had written a few weeks ago about an infant I had in intensive care in the government hospital on life support for severe dehydration and other complications. The parents requested that their child be brought home as they felt she was not improving and the doctors acknowledged their was little hope for recovery. They disconnected Julianna from life support and I wrapped her gently in the sheet I had brought with me, picked her up and accompanied the parents out of the hospital. I was aware, as I walked out of the hospital,she had died peacefully in my arms. The family would report her death in the local government office in their community. Neighbors had come to the hospital with a car to accompany the family home. It was an important decision and a right of the parents that I honor without question.

Manuela, the child with Leukemia in the Children´s Cancer Hospital in Guatemala City, has had a difficult week but seems to be improving. Her condition is complicated because of malnutrition. Her father has stayed faithfully at her bedside. Tomorrow we will deliver one of our wood saving stoves, some fire wood and also some basic food for the seven children who are at home with their mother. We had gone over to the community yesterday to visit the family and were suprised that the oldest daughter had gone with the mother, on the bus, to the city to see Manuela. The small children were home alone, with bare cupboards. Although the mother and daughter traveled on the bus with only the experience of the daughter bieng one time in Guatemala City, they had a successful trip. The mother returned more at peace that she had visited her daughter and saw herself she was ok. When you visit their very humble dirt floor homes, without even light, you know that there is a lot of fear and apprehension, to have their child apart, in a large modern hospital,where their indian dialect is not spoken and where there are no familiar sights. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers that Manuela will return home healthy eventually. I will travel to the city Thursday to visit her and her father. He is committed to stay with her until Juanuary when hopefully she will be improved and his older daughter can relieve him and he can return to work and help out his family. In the meantime we will offer financial support for nutrition to the family.

Daisy, our infant with AIDS, is not progressing as she has been discharged from the hospital and the family is not compliant with her appointments and treatments. Many prayers and patience is needed in accompanying these patients. Daily more emergencies from malnutrition and poverty arrive at the doorstep of the clinic.
We are blessed to have many committed workers who bring hope and healing despite the obstacles. THANK YOU also for all you do in supporting our work.

Included are two photos; one is Manuela´s younger siblings sitting happily on their bed; the other is Manuela´s mother talking on my cell phone to her husband and to Manuela. When we take patients to the city, if they do not have a cell phone, we leave a clinic phone with the patient and if necessary I will go to the home so the family can stay connected. Technology is a great asset to us in our work.