Last night we picked up four more members of our team: Haley, Halie, Michelle, and Dr. Mark Wheeler and then headed back to Light in Africa. The car rides were spent talking about their travels and sharing stories of our past four weeks here in Tanzania. Today we officially started our medical journey and mission. We went to St. Joseph’s Hospital today in Moshi and Dr. Wheeler and Gayle wasted no time diving right in to seeing patients. I think I can speak for all the girls in saying we throughly enjoyed getting to watch, listen, and learn from the both of them as they assessed and discussed treatment plans for each patient. They both are extremely good teachers and take the time to listen and answer all our questions. One patient we saw today had an inflammed knee, I am unsure as to what the cause of it was, but Dr. Wheeler decided to extract fluid from the knee to find out if it was blood, fluid, or both. Thankfully due to the patients willingness we all got to sit in on the simple procedure. It was discovered that it was blood that was surrounding the knee joint and thefore, Dr. Wheeler decided to put her in an immobilizer that would help reduce the swelling in the knee and plans to do a follow up with her next Friday. One patient’s case that I found interesting was a four year old boy who had broken his radius about a month ago. In the x-ray you could see how the bone was slightly sitting on top of the piece of bone it was suppose to be connected to but you could also see a cloudy area. Dr. Wheeler explained to us that since it has been a month since the break new bone has started to form, explaining the cloudy area in the x-ray. Since, kids’s bones remodel easily and well he decided that surgery was not the answer for this young boy but to wait a year and see how he adjusts to it and both he and Gayle believe that in a year you won’t be able to tell it was ever broke and he won’t be able to tell the difference. I found this remarkable, my assumption was that they would choose to rebreak and reset the bone. This made me very excited for what else is to come in the next two weeks and what more I will get to learn from our doctors.

Something we all found out today was what it cost just for a patient to start a chart at the hospital and for some that cost is too expenisve. However, thankfully to the work of Hope Ministries and the doctors that come to Tanzania and provide servies to these wonderful people of Tanznaia they are able to recieve the assessment and treatment they need and deserve. If a patient is unable to provide for themself, Gayle and the extraordinary donations to Hope Ministries, the cost of the services that patient needs is covered. Getting to see it all in action today left me speechless at the work being done here in Tanzania and thankful that God knew Gayle was the person to reach out to to help these people. Thank you Hope Ministries, Gayle, and the doctors for all the work you do and the time you spend to care for your patients here! We finished our day off with seeing more patients and then receiving a tour of the hospital.

God Bless

Alli Leinen