Our time in the village of Nyamboi came to an emotional close. The day was full of the breadth of medicine. One moment I was watching the pediatrician team of Dr. Sean and Dr. Julie carrying very sick infants down to our nursing station with pneumonia, malaria, diarrhea; then I’d see Dr. Rob cheerfully heading towards his patient with the fractured arm carrying a splint made of tongue depressors. A woman was laboring most of the day in the exam bed next to Dr. Joe while he kept on seeing patients. Dr. Gillian spent some time doing joint injections on the painful arthritic knee of some of the village elders. I passed by Dr. Sarah speaking with David about a follow-up approach for a young may with severe epilepsy while much laughter could be heard from Dr. Kirsten who got to work with our enthusiasic village midwife Ayi. I cried when Dr. Carol took off her earings at the end of the day to give to Letisha the clinic nurse.
All of this was supported by our fantastic nursing team who screened the crowd, cared for the sickest of the sick, poured tylenol into the febrile kids, and did all our diagnostic testing. Robin and Mary spent the day controlling and moving and interacting with the crowd of close to 1000 people while encouraging us all along.
The eye team had a record-breaking day seeing exactly 100 patients. It is incredible to consider the transfer of skills that is happening by Dr. Martin and his team to the 3 local optometrists.
The dental team was busy all day under the tree and I didn’t want to count how many teeth were in their big jar.
At the end of it all, this combined team saw over 500 patients and a few hundred went through our vitamin and tylenol lines. Oh and I forgot that our surgeons, Dr. Morag and Dr. Paul, screened a whole list of hernia patients for next year’s mission.
Back at the compound 88 procedures have been completed. The team is way ahead of schedule and are graciously fitting in the emergencies from the village. Dr. Rob had to operate without cautery today but did just fine. Flexibility and adaptability are so important around here!!! Our little boy who had the emergency surgery is doing very well and will probably go home tomorrow. What a miracle. One other critical child will stay with us another day.
As the sun was starting to set in Nyamboi the chief and elders presented the team with tubers of yam and a feisty ram. He spoke very deeply to us about this miracle of God that we are to them. Never in their dreams did they envision health care being brought to their remote village. He explained that he had no words to thank us, nor did they have any material gifts to gift us. He especially thanked our newcomers. So as a token of their love and gratitude they carved us each a spoon out of the wood from one of their local trees. Their village has been using these “spoons” long before our great-great-grandfathers came to the land and before the word spoon even existed. Each team member will have many more stories about what this wooden spoon represents to them.
Please pray for health and strength for this team who are working so hard. So far we have all been well and no one has been sick.
Today is our most difficult journey to the remote village of Yaara but we are ready! Please pray for safe travels as the final segment of the road is ….well….challenging might be putting it lightly!
Talk to you soon!