Tonight as I reflect on our day I am reminded of the story about the boy who discovers a beach full of dying, washed up starfish and decides to start throwing them back into the water one by one. An older passerby told him it was no use, he couldn’t possibly make a difference. The boy continued to throw the starfish back into the water saying “it makes a difference to this one, and this one, and this one….”
Today reminded me of that story as our team made a difference in the lives of so many individuals.
One little girl who was so sick with malaria on Thursday arrived for her reassessment dressed in her best dress, already recovered from this disease which is the leading cause of death in Ghana. Our visit made a difference to her.
Three men who were blind on Thursday due to the high pressures in their eyes returned and “saw” Dr. Martin for the first time. Their vision was restored. Our visit made a difference to them.
29 patients suffering from dental pain received extractions from Dr. Kyle and Amanda. Dr. Rob from Operation Hernia helped suture up dental patients after he and nurse Sue saw many hernia patients who are now on next year’s list. Our visit made a difference to these people.
Many of you may remember the story of Joshua who almost died 2 years ago of pneumonia while we were here. This robust, thriving toddler was dancing in the circle of women who welcomed us. He had a visit today with nurse Joan who put in the difficult IV that saved his life two years ago. Our visit made a difference to him.
Mid-morning a man arrived breathless requesting help for his wife who was hemorrhaging after delivering a baby in the next village. Her bleeding wouldn’t stop. Cindy, Erin, the local medical assistant, midwife, and I jumped into the pick-up with our emergency supplies. We arrived to a hut to find a woman lying on a mat on the dirt floor. Within minutes the IV fluids were running and the oxytocin was administered to contract the uterus. In the dark corner of the hut under the mosquito net we found not one, but two baby boys. Can you imagine. The babies were healthy but cold, so within minutes a fire was started and two village women cuddled the babies. As we exited the hut with good news, we had a captive audience of wide-eyed villagers. The midwife took the opportunity to educate the village as to the importance of delivering their babies at the medical clinics where a skilled birth attendant is available. What a miracle that we were in that village on that day. Our visit made a difference to this woman and her 6 children.
While there are many problems facing this continent, this unique partnership between NEA, Canada and the UK is making a difference to one person at a time, one family at a time, one village at a time. We all feel deeply privileged to be part of it as we watch many miracles of God unfold before our eyes.
At the end of the day this courageous, hardworking team saw just over 500 patients and David tells me another 500-600 patients went through our “fast track” clinic for deworming, tylenol and vitamins. Despite huge numbers, our incredible pharmacy team with support from the team had us wrapped up in time to be off Yaara road before dark. I’ve forgotten the exact number but the surgical team are up to about 150 procedures. Today they had to call some of Saturday’s patients to the OR as they were so far ahead of schedule. Incredible!
Here is a picture of the medical team after this memorable day. Some of you will notice 3 members were not with us in Yaara today but we are thankful to God that they are back to good health after a day of rest.
David concluded our day with some inspirational words and told the team that each one of us was hand picked by God himself to be here on this mission. He thanked us for surrendering ourselves and doing our work with so much heart. We are tired but ready for our big day tomorrow in Baniantwe.
Thanks for your support and prayers. We miss you all!