Monday, 16 September 2013

Abundantly Thankful

Emmanoel was admitted not a moment too soon. His airway was being blocked off by an oral tumour which caused him more and more distress every passing day. When we saw the tension in his body, distress in his deep, brown eyes and the horrible screeching noise from his throat when he gasped for air, we knew that soon his body would not be able to cope with such a huge amount of stress and he would die.

I wrote about him two weeks ago and how he was able to get life-bringing surgery and how he needed to go back to the OR and be put on the ventilator so that his poor little body could rest for a couple of days.

Moments before going back to the OR for ventilation

I wasn’t there when he was extubated but I was thinking about him. I wasn’t working that day but I couldn’t help myself but swing by the ward in the evening to peek at him. When I peeked from the window in the hallway, he was tucked in bed, snuggled next to his mama, who was also fast asleep. He was a new boy from the one who had previously sat in that bed, unable to lie down for the struggle to breathe. His body was completely relaxed and as I watched him breathe, I felt myself sigh and the tension drain away. He was sleeping as any little boy his age should.

Several days later I walked into work in the afternoon and looked around the ward. The usual business was a flurry of nurses handing out 1400hr medications before the new shift arrived. The activity distracted me for a moment and then I realised. Our little boy, Emmanoel, was gone and someone else was in his bed. My team leader told me he'd be discharged home that morning. He'd gone, just like that. He and his mama had been given discharge teaching, collected the appropriate medicines and then been walked out with a translator and caught the shuttle out of the port and then probably a taxi or bus home. There'd been no goodbye ceremony, no trumpets announcing that this precious little boy was now leaving the hospital a completely different boy. He was now loved on by scores of nurses and hospital staff, he'd been cuddled and played with and cherished and will now live a healthy, full life. I can just imagine him as he left the ward, his soft little hand, grasping his mama's as he walked by her side, something he was unable to do when he was gasping so desperately for air. We and you, prayed for him with all our might. God heard our prayers and we danced with joy.  Every time I looked at him I felt abundantly thankful for a God of mercy.

So it was strange that I could walk into the ward and find him gone. But that's how it goes. Each patient who walks into this hospital has their own precious story. Some need more urgent prayers than others, but each need our love in their own special way. So thank you for loving him by praying for him.

And a huge thank you for the outpouring of love and prayer for Baby Girl and her family. I felt so abundantly covered in love and prayer by each of you. The outpouring was truly remarkable.

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