From our friend Samantha’s blog on life her in Kijabe come these good words.
I don’t pretend to know why one child dies and another one doesn’t. I don’t have any great answers for that giant theological dilemma. But I do know that Paul carried on. He survived great peril, and horrible conditions, and despicable things done to him. Yet he carried on, full of joy and praising God for his trials. So I’m carrying on. And in the midst of carrying on, I am finding that I’m beginning to love this place and love these people and this culture. As crazy as these first 6 months have been, it’s starting to feel like home here…
She wrote a long post about her first six months working at Kijabe. Samantha and I share a job, splitting between maternity and the out patient department, so her experiences are much like my own. If you want a glimpse into the life of a doctor in their first year of service in Kijabe, you can read about it at Sam Goes to Kenya – The First Six Months.
I came up with this solution for a broken bed at about 4 AM while we were getting ready to do a cesarean section for a patient with placenta previa who was having a hemorrhage. Patients with placenta previa have the placenta down low in the uterus so that it is covering the cervix. That means that the placenta is between the baby and the exit. When the cervix begins to open and the baby wants to come out, the placenta begins to bleed so that both the mother and the baby are at risk of death. It is a medical emergency in obstetrics. This case was complicated by the fact that she was only 33 weeks pregnant when she started to hemorrhage (2 months early), and she had a history of three previous cesarean sections. Even in the absence of the emergency, doing a cesarean section on a patient who has 3 previous lower uterine scars makes me nervous. These patients often have lots of scarring which can make the surgery very difficult. In addition, in the case of placenta previa, the placenta is often stuck to and growing into the previous scars which can lead to different type of surgical emergency in which the patient ends up with a hysterectomy. I pray a lot when I am standing next to patients like this. We have scriptures up on the walls in lot of the operating rooms. This room in particular has a scripture hanging right in front of me when I am standing by the patient’s side getting ready to begin. I will look up at it, and I will pray for my patient and for myself. And when all is over, I will look up at it again and thank God that his promises are true. She did great!
Outside of good medical care I think the biggest mission we have at Kijabe Hospital is medical education. We have some many nursing students, clinical officer interns, medical officer interns, and residents roaming our halls it can make your head spin. There is no way to keep track of everybody. It is such an important part of what we do, training the next generation of doctors and medical workers to provide excellent, thorough, compassionate, and hopefully Christian care to the under-served areas of the world.
The best blood for donating!
The WhatsApp message went out over the hospital group, “We have a desperate need for O negative blood for a postpartum mother!” A patient was being brought in by ambulance with a reported hemoglobin (blood level) of 1.7. That is very low. Normal is around 15. We needed blood urgently. After a few phone calls to some of our special donors, two brave men, one working at Naomi’s village, and the other working at RVA came when asked to give blood to save that young mother’s life. One of the two is an experienced donor, the other definitely had the look of how in the world did I find myself here. (You can guess which is which from the picture.) However they were similar in that they knew that what they were giving was going to save a young girl’s life! Thank you Mark and Robert.