Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Precious Children

Yesterday was another sad day on the pediatric ward. Most of the patients actually are doing quite well, however, late on Friday afternoon I got an admission of a 9 year old child who couldn’t even stand up he was so weak. When you looked at the poor child’s face you could see how sick he truly was. His eyes were protruding from his head. After obtaining some lab work and doing an FNA of a liver mass that was seen on ultrasound he was diagnosed with Stage 4 Burkett’s Lymphoma. The mother reported that she had been to many doctors before coming to Mbingo Baptist Hospital, however, when she says many doctors she means a lot of traditional African medicine had been tried and local hospital clinic visits made. The people here wait to come to Mbingo until the illness has progressed so far that it is hard to do much because of money. They simply don’t have the money to afford much in the way of any medical care and every time I order any test I have to think can I get by without this because I know it may mean going without food for these people. After the diagnosis was made, the little boy was started on chemotherapy. On Monday, I had just finished rounding on the Pediatric ward patients when I was called to the bedside of this child. He was passing away and there was no human medicine that could be done to save this little boy. The family grieved both his mother and his grandmother however, they had an idea from the beginning that the little boy might not make it. After the initial mourning, the mother and grandmother became very concerned about how they were going to get home. They live about 2 hours from Mbingo and they had to figure out a way to get home by a cab. The catch is that here according to their customs the deceased must be buried in front of the home that their father has built. Therefore, the mother and grandmother were going to have to hire a taxi to take them as well as the mother’s deceased son back to their home. Can you imagine having lost your son and you have to ride back to your home village in a hot taxi cab with strangers in it and your deceased son sitting beside you? Words can’t even describe what these people live!!

Yesterday I also got an admission of a 6 year old boy who had finished his chemotherapy for Burkett’s Lymphoma in April. He came in with acute respiratory distress. After some initial assessments, I found that he had a huge pericardial effusion (fluid around the heart) that was leading to his respiratory distress because his whole right atrium and right ventricle (chambers of the heart) were compressed. Last evening a pericardiocentesis (drainage of the fluid around the heart) was performed which helped him tremendously. Right now I am waiting on a pathologist to look at the fluid to see if possibly the Burkett’s Lymphoma has relapsed or if it could possibly be tuberculosis. Please pray for this family and that an answer will be found as to why this happened and treatment available!!!!
I am including some pictures of some of the children on the pediatric ward as well as pictures from the NICU (the one baby a 28 weeker I see in the Nicu for right now is doing quite well). Please continue to pray for Jeff and me as we try to make the most of every opportunity we have while we are here that God would use us for His glory!!!

Chemsi a little 2 year old

Favour a little 2 1/2 year old

Ngong 6 year old boy with pericardial effusion and probable relapse of Burkett's Lymphoma

28 weeker baby Delphine he is so wrapped up you can hardly see him:)  It is a male baby they clothe in whatever they can find hence the pink.

1 comment:

  1. This is so terribly sad. I just don't know how you can face that every single day. God has so obviously put this on your heart of the wise I don't think you would be able to do it. I told Jeff that I could send some over the counter medication is it would help. I am on disability so I can't really help out with money unfortunately. Is there is anything that either of you need to be more comfortable over there please let me know and I'll do what I can to get it. Maybe a couple bags of candy to give to the kids once in a while? Maybe there is some food items you both like that you can't get there I could send you? May god continue to bless you for the things you're doing. I'm thanking you, if there's anything I can do for you please let me know. I don't know if you can get postage where you are or not. I don't know how good the mail system is over there. I would hate to send you something and have somebody open it and take it before you get it. Please tell jeffrey that I said hello. You both are in my thoughts and prayers. Both of you feel free to write me anytime and I will try to keep up on your blog. When you both get back home, I will try to get down to my friends house there. Maybe we can meet in johnson city and grab a bite to eat? Please take care of yourselves while you're over there. There is such crime and bad things that happen I wou. ld hate for anything to happen to you guys. God bless you both, Xyane. ;)