Good morning to everyone back home!
Our Saturday began very early with the bus trip to Baniantwe over the same “interesting bridge.” We stopped en route to see a widow’s farm supported by NEA. We saw peanuts, cassava, fig trees, pumpkin, cayenne, corn and papaya on her small plot. We even had a hoeing demonstration!
The village greetings took place at the chief’s compound, and many were surprised to see that the regal chief sitting on the stool was Charles, one of the pastors who is coordinating our hardworking volunteers this week! It was a pleasure to bring along Dr. Tony (our anesthetist), Dr. Magdi, Gemma and Nichola from the OR to be with us in the village.
The clinic got moving quickly and just before lunch a storm rolled in. It was fast and furious, but the patients stood their ground and would not give up their spot in line. These patients came from very, very far; many of them walked 15 miles and others traveled 200 miles to see us! At the end of the clinic which provided care to over 500 patients, our local Dr. Nina said to me “many people would have died if you were not in the village on this very day.”
We had many seriously ill patients. Dr. Jerrod and I each brought back a patient to the compound with us for ongoing management. We also cared for a precious baby who was near death from cerebral malaria. He was resuscitated by our pediatrician and nursing staff and transferred to a district hospital as he needed oxygen and blood. Malaria just such a devastating illness. Please pray for him.
We saw a case of Sydenham’s chorea, something none of us had ever seen or even thought of since medical school. Reference books and iphone apps were dug out and we are hopeful he could be cured.
Dr. Carlye and nurse Margaret had the privilege of making a palliative hut call in the village as well.
Our surgical team had an incredible day and are up to 179 procedures!
The day ended with a round robin Euchre tournament coordinated by our Dr. Gillian under the gazebo in the Canadians’ residence.
Today is a day of rest where we will attend church, rest and do some exploring around the compound. Tonight we have been invited by the Mensahs to “chill” at their home, which is an ironic term considering the over 40 degree heat!
This is an incredible team that did not seem to lose an ounce of momentum during this grueling week. They have cared so expertly and so compassionately for so many people. A well-deserved two days off is definitely in order.
Until next time with thanks to everyone for their support, well wishes and prayers on our behalf.