Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Hope is on it's way!

You know the patient with the huge facial tumour that I wrote about a few weeks ago? Well, he’s now on the ward.  After a lot of discussion and decision making, planning his care, we admitted him to the ward and inserted a PEG feeding tube (a tube that goes straight into the stomach from outside the abdomen). We also gave him a tracheotomy so that his airway is secure. As we feed him and make him stronger for surgery, his tumour is also slowly growing, using the nutrients we are now pouring into his wasted body. It is a delicate balance though, giving him exactly the right amounts to keep his electrolytes balanced and calories that he needs to put on weight.

Our patient with his caregiver Mama and one of our amazing nurses, Hannah.

This man used to play football for the Guinea national football team and 5 years ago this tumour started growing. For two years now he has only been able to take liquids for nutrition.  We are quite sure it is a benign tumour, otherwise it would have killed him already.

The next few weeks stretch out in front of him.  They will consist of fattening him up, making sure he is as fit for surgery as possible and of course, loving on him, looking way past the tumour into the depths of his soul and telling him, he is worth every ounce of effort we put into his care.

It is interesting feeling to have a case such as his in front of you.  I can see the LONG road ahead of him, consisting of a massive surgery (more than 12 hours long, I would imagine) and then weeks of healing time and months and years for the skin and tissue to settle into a new shape for his face.  But as long as this road is, HE IS WORTH IT!  His life is worth fighting for!  I am joined by an amazing team of nurses, doctors and ancillary hospital staff and we are all behind him, helping him fight for his life.
Please join us in praying for these next few weeks as we work with him and for the right surgeons to be available to do the surgery. Pray that he is strengthened and will know the love that we share with him, because of the overflow of God first loving us!

Sunday, 14 October 2012

The Island

During this last week while emailing friends at home, I really felt like I had nothing to report. My 'exciting' life on the Africa Mercy wasn't so interesting. I didn't feel inspired by anything. Perhaps it didn't help that I had been on night shift and so my week had basically consisted of trying to sleep while everyone else lived life and while they slept, I worked. Not that I'm complaining, I actually don't mind night shift every now and then, but it does make you feel a little unattached from the world and in my case overly emotional and irrational at times!  But anyway, by Friday my nights were over and the weekend upon me.

There are three islands close enough to see from the ship, just off the coast of Conakry and I wanted to visit one for a day adventure. After a team effort of recruiting friends and finding a man with a boat, we set off on Saturday as a group of 14 friends.

A boat full of locals capsized a few weeks ago on the way to the islands and devastatingly most of them drowned (I heard about 28 people) and so since then every person getting in a boat must have their names written down and a life jacket buckled on. I love a boat ride across the ocean!

Once we arrived on the smallest island, called Rome, we were led by some local hotel owners to their beach. To my delight, when the beach came into sight, I saw good sized waves!!! I am happy to report I wasn't disappointed! I body surfed these waves and happily laid in the sun (under an umbrella of course ;) ) for hours.

The sun was bright and hot, the sky blue and a light breeze wafting across the yellow sand. Perfect weather for a day on an island, don't you think?!

As I waded out to the waves, at the beginning of swim number 2 for the day, I thought, "yes, now I feel alive and inspired!"
I guess growing up and going to a surf beach every year for a family holiday has partially conditioned my soul! So I thoroughly enjoyed myself! As did the rest of the group!

The end of the day on the island consisted of a lunch of fresh fish- caught while we were swimming and laying on the beach! Accompanied by homemade fries and tomato salsa. Yum!

A perfect Saturday out.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Little Friends

It is amazing how quickly you fall in love with kids.  We have had gorgeous kids in the hospital this outreach (we always do!), but some of them have stayed on the ward longer than others, giving us the chance to really fall in love with them.  These kids pictured below have stolen my heart!

Hawa and Meme, loved to play together!
'Bum-ba' is Sousou (local language) to put on your back. These girls carried their 'babies' (balloons) around the ward on their backs, practicing for when they are older. So cute!

"Here, let me help!"

Cute Lamin
Three friends
Hawa would come up to me often, patting my hip and looking at me with puppy dog eyes, "Bum-ba, bum-ba".  How could i resist?

Playing in the wards

One of hundreds of cuddles!

Yesterday i went to visit her at the Hope Centre.  I miss seeing her every day in the hospital, but i know it's good for her to be out and able to run around!
See those three faces peeking through the fence, in the rain?

I love little faces snuggling in.  I love little feet pattering on the floor. I love little hands holding mine.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...