Selina Hopsital: Arusha, Tanzania

Pat Westergren, a recent Hope Ministries volunteer, wrote a beautiful testimony about the Love of Christ she witnessed through the actions of Gayle and the Hope Ministries team in Tanzania in January of 2019. We thought we’d share a summary of her story with you below:

The Hope Ministries team was coming to the end of our efforts at the old Selian Hospital in Arusha, Tanzania. I went with Gayle and Dr. Jenny Whitehead. Gayle felt compelled by God to wander into the adjoining section where she observed a premature baby in critical respiratory distress.

It was heart wrenching to observe the baby’s chest heaving in and out struggling so hard to get a breath. Gayle’s expertise as a neonatal ICU (Intensive Care Unit) nurse allowed her to come to the immediate aid of the baby through suctioning of the airway, chest compressions/tamponade and intake of oxygen through her makeshift oxygen cannula. Gayle and Dr. Whitehead worked intensively for over an hour to keep this baby alive.

The mother believed her baby had cerebral palsy. She had fear of the future burdens to take care of a child who would likely have significant physical and mental needs. Gayle took time to understand this young mother’s fears and emotional detachment from her baby. She then assured her in a loving way that her baby did not have cerebral palsy, but an internal cleft palate. It could easily be corrected in the future, and that all indications showed Baby LeRoy was a healthy little boy. 

A competent and trusted nurse was pulled into the ICU room and given instructions by Gayle to start the baby on IV fluids and to monitor the blood oxygen concentration levels.

When all was calm and stabilized, Gayle left the ICU to settle her bills with Selian Hospital. She decided to check in on LeRoy before leaving the hospital. As she entered the ICU the hospital generator went out which eliminated the administration of oxygen from the wall unit. The situation became critical once again, until a mobile oxygen canister was located, rigged and specifically tailored for the oxygen to be administered to Baby LeRoy. This baby was saved at just the critical time, not once, but now twice by Gayle.

I believe without a doubt that baby LeRoy would not have survived without the intervention from Gayle and her specific expertise.

Gayle is a caring, selfless woman, who makes personal sacrifices daily so she is able to provide for the less fortunate. Very few Christians listen as well or as intentionally to the Lord than Gayle. Her years of experience, zest and enthusiasm for a better world, along with her never-ending love she pours out to the many people she helps reminds us all of God’s greatest gifts: faith, hope, and love.

Thank you, Gayle, for all that you do for Hope Ministries and all of those around you. We love you dearly!