Thursday July 15th

Thursday, July 15th.

What an awesome team God has blessed me with!  They have been working hard with long days and the students are learning so much.  We have been in OR the last of days until late, and the team leaves pretty tired.

The team left for safari with Julius and I had a meeting with the doctors, OR staff and anesthesia at Selian Hospital for a evaluation meeting of the team’s visit.   I am so excited because they have been upgraded to a District Referral Hospital, which is a huge step for them.  We discussed future medical services that they could expand in and collaborated on how Hope Ministries can assist them.  I just love the staff and doctors at this hospitals because they are like family.  I thanked them so much for all their hard work and for being so nice and welcoming to my team.  I provided a few suggestions for them and I left feeling so good about what Hope Ministries is doing to help this hospital because they service the poor.

Hope Ministries donated all the components for a endoscope unit and Dr. Elibariki is beyond excited.  There’s was broken and thus they could not use it to diagnose and treat patients, so this is a huge benefit to them.

I have not been here for about 18 months and I could tell.  The patient needs in the outreach clinics that we serve was unbelievable.  I referred about 25 patients to Selian and with the patients we saw on the ward that were laying there because they could not afford surgery, Hope Ministries is paying for 18 surgeries and hospital care.  I told Julius I did not bring enough money to pay for them, so I would need to rob a bank 😀.  The need and cases were so great and I just don’t have the heart to say no.  Luckily I have an account at this hospital so that I can pay what I have with me and then will wire the rest.

I then met with the hospice/palliative care team, that the Hope team have been doing home visit with this week.  They came to me with a very sad case and asked for my help.  He was a 32 year old male who had fallen out of a tree about 10 months ago.  He is married and has three small children.  All the neighbors donated money so he could go to a hospital in Moshi, and they did a spine X-ray.  They did not have the X-ray or the results but through assessments this man was paralyzed from the waist down and had limited motion in upper extremities with contracture of both hands.  The team that visited him said he has just been laying in bed and has very bad bed sores on both heels, buttock and lower legs.  The mattress that he was laying on was soaking wet, smelt terrible and when removed there were maggots all over.

The team got him up into a wheel chair and brought him outside and cleansed the wounds.  He then had a catheter where pus was draining.  These people have no money and the team consulted with me and I discussed with the doctor a plan of care.

The patient was admitted to the hospital Tuesday night and found to be severe anemic because of poor nutrition, so we had to transfuse him with blood.  The next day on rounds we saw him and I had my Orthopedic surgeon see him.  He figured he had a spine fraction with resultant paralysis.  The plan was to do wound care, recheck his hemoglobin, put on antibiotics and then I asked physical therapy to do physio on his upper extremities in hopes to maintain or potentially restore some function in his arms and legs.  I then asked about his environment, because unless we help there the problem will continue.  So Hope ministries is paying for all of his medical bills and then Julius will assist me with getting a proper mattress with a plastic cover and then we bought them food because the whole family is suffering nutritionally.  Then I ask hospice if they could make regular visits and make sure the patient is repositioned, put in the wheelchair and assess for wounds.  They told me the mom just cried because she was touched that God sent someone to help them because she was afraid her husband was going to die.

After I saw this patient my heart was broken and hard to believe how the poverty here puts these patients in situations that they just have to tolerate and many die.  Praise God through all my donors and team, we are able to give this man and his family some hope.  This young man was the bread winner and sad to say if he had the proper care to begin with he might not have been paralyzed.  I looked in this young man’s face and saw the face of Jesus and knew Jesus guided me here to help this person.

I talked to the team after their first day on safari and they had a wonderful time and saw God’s beauty of Africa.

I ask for your continual prayers because the challenges of this trip continue and as I pray I know that God is walking beside me and I keep praying to the Holy Spirit for his help and guidance.

Sending a lot of love to my family and all of you.

Mama Gayle