Carpenter – Thursday, November 20
Our work is finished. We can hardly believe it.
The team kicked into “full throttle” for these last two days in Carpenter. There was a massive coordinated effort to serve as many patients as possible. It was a sight to see. Over the past two days, 1700 patients were provided care by our medical, dental, eye and laser teams. Our surgeons have successfully completed 247 hernia repairs.
Patients came from all over Northern Region. There are fewer than twelve doctors to serve three million people in Northern Ghana; we have seventeen doctors on this team. One elderly patient who had his hernia repaired remarked to David that he had never, not once, had a doctor lay a hand on him until today.
There are so many patient stories I could speak of from these last few days. Stories of babies with severe malaria, a child with severe croup we nursed through the night, emergency surgeries being performed, vision being saved, and the list goes on and on.
But there is one young woman whose face I will never forget. This twenty-year-old woman presented to our clinic in Banda with a cloth over her face. She has been suffering with pain and bleeding from here nose for two years. When I looked in her nose there was something in there. It was a mass or a growth of some kind. I tried to remove it but it was fixed down. We brought her to Carpenter where, despite a full roster, our surgeons fit her in and removed the growth. It turned out to be a stone or a piece of metal that had been there for years. At dinner last night David explained to us that the family of this woman were destitute because they had spent all of their money travelling around Ghana for someone to help her. Her siblings had to stop going to school in order for the family to afford these hospital visits. The life of this woman and this family is now changed forever as a result of the most basic procedure.
David summed up this mission by telling us that, in the past, his people would say that they have been forgotten by God and by the rest of the world. Through the work of NEA and the work of the health team (David calls us the “icing on the cake” of their development work) he no longer hears his people say this anymore. They are no longer forgotten.
As we were returning to our rooms exhausted last night, some of us enjoyed a “classic Ghana” moment. An ostrich had escaped and was standing on the driveway refusing to let us pass. Only in Ghana!
This morning we rose early for a devotional service under the gazebo with all the NEA staff. It was a moving time to hear testimony from Ghanaians and from our team about how thankful we are to God and to one another for making this mission possible. This partnership is becoming more and more special to more and more people and we will be sad to say goodbye again.
Right now we are heavy into inventory and cleaning and packing. Tonight there will be a big party with our team, all our Ghanaian volunteers and their families. David says it will be a great party. I asked him what makes a party “great” in Ghana. He responded very quickly, “Lots of meat!”
We will begin our journey home very early tomorrow morning. Now that our work is done, we all wish we could beam ourselves home to our loved ones who we miss very much.
I’d better get back to packing!!
2015 Health Team Updates
Carpenter, November 18
Iddrisu’s Story in Photos
Yaara, Nov 12
Asantekwaa, Nov 11
Nyamboi, Nov 10
Carpenter, Nov 9
Carpenter, Nov 8
Accra, Nov 7
Toronto, Nov 6
Soale Gbeadese says
Thank you so much Dr. Jenifer for your great leadership. May God grant you safe journey back to your various homes.
Amsterdam, so close, yet so far dear mom, my hero!
Safe journey home, miss you, love you
Chris & Vasil says
Reading the stories from Northern Ghana has been the highlight of every single day since our beloved Eni and the Ghana Health Team 2015 left Pearson. Fascinating stories of deeds that have changed the lives of many good people and passionately told through this blog have been shared with many friends and family members in Canada and all over the world.
As you prepare to come home, we wish you a safe journey and an enjoyable break at the heart of Europe. The Old Continent has gone through some of the toughest days in her 21st century, we can vision the ‘Ghana Health Team’ shirts and hats shining a bright light at Schiphol.
May you have a safe, enjoyable and restful flight from Kotoka to Schiphol and home to Toronto. The snow will be falling in the Great North, but our day will be just perfect when those sliding doors open and we see Eni and all of you coming home!
Ps: Eni’s menu @ Schiphol
1. Stroopwafels, as many as you can, eat half of them, bring Chris some
2. Poffertjes, you will love them
3. Enjoy a Heineken
4. Close with a Koffie Verkeerd + Bitterballen
Karen and Peter says
Very emotional experiences and work have been related through your blog. Thank you all for the work you are doing there and helping the lives of those who you have encountered. So proud of you Dr. Bill Newton for doing this mission. Safe travels to all on your way home.
Barb & Bruno says
Congratulations to your whole team on work well done! Thank you Jennifer for your posts; it has given us a glimpse of how much care the team has provided to the people in Northern Ghana.
And Val, I am so looking forward to seeing you and hearing all about Ghana! Miss you Sis, and see you soon,
Rob Hicks says
We have loved reading your stories of the last 2 weeks.
Safe travels home.
Looking forward to meeting Dr Jo at Heathrow on Sunday to hear more of her incredible adventure,
for those coming to the UK prepare for snow – its gone cold today!!
I hope you all get the welcome from your friends and family that you deserve – I hope I can join you next year.
Love to all
Rob Ted Charlie and Elsa
Please check Carly’s suitcase. I’m sure she will be wanting to bring home many little ones.
All of the team. You are an inspiration to us all.
God bless you all
Kathy Lawson says
We are praying for safe journey home. I know there must be mixed feelings of sad, to be leaving everyone that you have met and happiness, to be going home to loved ones waiting to hear all of the stories that have touch you all. May God Bless each one of the Team and give them peace!!
Sending a special greeting and Love to our Sister-in -law Kim xo
With Love and Prayers from The Lawsons
Brian Feddery says
I can only echo the words my daughter Stephanie has written. She is far more erudite than I am. Suffice to say, Lovey, I hope your dream has been fulfilled, and if it hasn’t take solace in all the lives that have been saved/changed forever thanks to you. Thank you Jennifer for taking the time to keep us “back home” informed. I’m sure you would rather have gone to bed after a long day taking care of people. So many, many thanks.Brian
Enjoy your celebration tonight. Thank you for sharing your incredible, inspirational work. You have forever changed the lives of so many near and far with your devotion and passion.
We are so proud of all of you for the work you have done these past weeks, the energy that you have poured into each person you have interacted with, and the incredible teamwork that you have participated in. May God bless each person that you have touched, with your physical care over them being a seed of tremendous faith in the One whose love you all represent. Have an amazing joyous celebration tonight. We pray for safe travels, and look forward to having you home!
The stories you have shared Jennifer and all the untold stories are examples of the urgent need for the Carpenter Hospital… it’s unimaginable how many lives would be saved and changed when this hospital is built… Thank you Jennifer for your strong leadership and passion in being obedient to God’s heeding that has spread throughout your team that you all serve with such joy in your heart and love for the people of Northern Ghana.
May the Lord richly Bless each of you and your families. Travel well as you all return home
Steph Feddery says
Thank you for documenting this incredible journey for all of us who are far from all of you. Many things said have moved me and impressed me, but I am not surprised, as I know how transformational an experience like this can be. Some have mentioned that taking care of others is a “calling” and I truly believe that my mother Leslie was called to this profession. For her entire life she has taken care of other people; family, friends and strangers. Having been inspired I believe by the good work of her mother she has carried this through into all facets of her life. I am so proud that my mother has been able to live out her dream and be part of this mission. Everything she has ever done has been for someone else. She leads with her heart and sacrifices her own self for others. I know that she will be profoundly impacted by this experience and will have touched many by her caring and loving approach to nursing. I look forward to hearing even more upon her return.
Your blogs have been inspiring and show the need for the hospital to built at Carpenter.