The medical team spent the last two days in the village of Asantekwa and faced extreme crowds and extreme heat. There were many moments to remember …
There were heartbreaking moments … Dr. Charlie cared for a teenager in terribly ill health due to chronic osteomyelitis (bone infection) simply due to lack of access to health care at the right time in his young life. Collecting statistics on the number of children each woman has lost continues to be heartbreaking for us all. I’m so thankful for the Leyaata program which is saving a generation of children and a soon-to-be hospital which will put an end to so many needless deaths.
We served hard, caring for many SIPs (seriously ill patients). Our nursing station had ten kids and four adults on IV fluids on Tuesday alone. Right at the end of the clinic a woman, bitten by a viper, arrived by taxi.
Pharmacy was able to wrap up in record time (4:01 pm to be exact) and we finished the day by receiving our third ram and many yams. The chief made a special point of saying how much they appreciated the gentle hands with which we cared for their people. It was great feedback, as our goal is always to give each patient our attention, love and compassion despite the crowds, noise and distractions.
There were some fun and lighthearted moments … Dr. John decided to rig up some music during the set-up of our clinic and “You Raise Me Up” played on a wireless speaker while we all sang along. Watching team members find ways of dealing with the extreme heat gave us all a few laughs too. My favourite is watching team members resort to wiping their faces with Lysol wipes in a desperate attempt to lower their body temperature. They work!
There were hopeful moments … What a privilege to work along side and transfer skills to NEA scholars. Moses is a fourth year medical student sponsored by NEA; Eric is a nurse anaethetist who is being sponsored to do his Masters of Anaesthesia by NEA; and Emmanuel, David and Brenda’s nephew, is studying pharmacy on scholarship from NEA. Abraham, our fearless and kind leader, just completed his Masters of Hospital Administration in England. The future of health care delivery at our NEA hospital is so very bright with these capable young professionals preparing to serve.
Gentle hands were also at work back on the compound in the operating theatres as our surgical team operated from dawn to well after dusk. They too are facing very challenging conditions in which to work but are completing long lists due to the support from wonderful nurses, the anaesthesia team and NEA support staff.
And we must not forget about the gentle hands of Dr. Martin who had a very productive day restoring sight and preventing blindness due to glaucoma. Let the blind see.
Today and tomorrow we have home court advantage as we all remain on the compound together to run the last two clinics for the Carpenter area. St. Augustine said, “Pray as though everything depended on God; work as though everything depended on you.” What a combination! Thanks to friends and family praying for us and sending through comments of encouragement as we make every effort to work hard, finish well, and return home to our loved ones.
Sandra Stark says
Safe trip home. We await your arrival with great glee. All of us.
Pat Redwood says
Blessings on all of you for helping and serving others. What joy you must feel when you help someone and what anguish when you can’t. You inspire others. Love to read your blog and see what accomplishments and the hardships you face each day.
May you travel in safety and come home feeling a job … well done.
Come on! The last push and your great job will be done for this year.
Have a good journey back!
Christy Simpson says
Hi – it’s great to get these updates! The stories and short vignettes convey so much in terms of what matters most in caring for and working with others. Take care and hope the hot weather gives you a bit of a break soon.
Thinking of you all,
Shout out to GOD for His unchanging faithfulness to all! Lissa, G & P are here from Virginia and pass on how pleased they are for this opportunity you’ve had to learn from and care for these under-served people.
Thanks to Abraham and the Carpenter hosts for caring for our much-loved ones. What I wouldn’t do for a copy of Patience’ cookbook 🙂
You’ve all been missed. Looking forward to welcoming you home!
Luanne Evans says
Hey Ghana Team
May God give you strength, wisdom and health as you finish your clinics, then pack. It has been an honour to stand alongside you lifting you up to the King of Kings and asking for His work to flow through each of you. So many memories and realizations of how far God’s work has come since 2007. Unbelievable that pharmacy finishing by 4:10 !!!! and probably in daylight!!!!!!
I’m remembering that any and all help would be welcomed by pharmacy when our tasks were completed.
I’m sort of overwhelmed, so I will only say, God Bless each of you abundantly, give you travelling mercies as you return, and prepare you for re-entry. First ice on the pond as I went to work yesterday, first hearing snow plows at 4 am, first freezing rain and first shoveling of wet snow this morning in Uxbridge.!!!!!!
Stay strong and finish well.
The Father is being honoured by your work.
Cathy + Randy Wright says
Love reading the blogs every time. It brings back memories of our times in Ghana. Lucky patients to have crossed your path. When the new hospital is built it will be more than luck. Good luck pharmacy team you have a few hard days ahead of you. Enjoy because you will be back to snow,cold, wind and freezing rain soon.
Jo Hicks says
Many people at home ask how do we cope with just seeing the patient once for that short period of time,to help them… then move on. I always say we do the best we can for that patient, that moment , that day.
The other day on pick up from school Elsa and I were singing in the car -as we do- and I thought this song says it all. As you pack up ready for home and reflect on what fantastic work you have achieved you can remember the words of Whitney….
(to be said or sung!)
Each day I live I want to be
A day to give the best of me
I’m only one but not alone
My finest day is yet unknown.
I broke my heart for every gain
To taste the sweet I faced the pain
I rise and fall and through it all
This much remains….
I want one moment in time
When I’m more than I thought I could be
When all of my dreams are a heart beat away
And the answers are all up to me
Give me ..one moment in time when I’m racing with destiny
And in that one moment of time
I will feel ..I will feel eternity….
God Bless and safe trip home -looking forward to seeing Rob at Heathrow ! ….Jo xxx
Chris and Jan says
The work you are doing must be so exhausting inn that heat but so rewarding as it is so life changing it is without doubt the greatest kind of gift you can give to help a stranger in need.
Thank you whoever you are and Thanks to Rob for telling us what he was doing so in our small way our village can support him and his family in some way to do this.
You inspire our community too. Yardley Hastings sends our best wishes to all
Sandra StRk says
We remain inspired. It is stories like these that keep our hearts open. So you are performing open heart ‘surgery’ at home simultaneously. All Jensens send their love.
Kathy Bayless says
It’s “Thanksgiving” in the US and your team has remained in our prayers and praise offerings to the Lord throughout your preparations, travel and days on site. Dr. J we so appreciate your thoughtful and insightful posts-Poignant and profound. Will be eager to hear more when we next get to talk. Also, hope all went well for Claudia.
Sarah Hasted says
It seems very strange to be sitting here reading about all the wonderful things you are doing, rather than being out there with you, but you’ve all been in my thoughts every day.
Especially wanted to send big love to the surgical team as they face their final day of hernias (you are just packing up on Friday, right?!)… keep strong, and think about that cold bottle of Ghana Star that awaits you at the airport. Now crack on, finish those lists, and give yourselves a huge pat on the back… you’re amazing, and it’s been an honour to work with you all.
Take care, and don’t blow up the equipment on the last day this time!
Jan Gerrow says
Keep on swimming like Dori. Safe journey home again. Your families here are looking forward to your return. Love
Dawn & Jodi says
Amazing work by an awesome team, sending our love and support from all your friends at Three Shires Hospital in Northampton, UK.
We are following your blogs & are very proud of you all. Missing our Nicky Blunt & Rob Hicks who will be pleased to know they will need their coats, hats & gloves when home, no heatwave here.!
Well done to you all & lots of love xxxx
Marilyn Daniels says
Because I know Dave Norton I have been following you in prayer with a heart full of memories of the times I served on medical teams in Africa. You are doing a great job! I know the heat and long hours are daunting but nothing is more satisfying than the work you are doing to teach and to train, as well as practising direct interventions. I am retired now, but can still pray for those who are able to go! God bless you all.
Jessica Toth says
Amazing work everyone!!
How’s the dental teams doing??
Elizabeth M-B says
Love the updates, which make me both homesick and glad for the work you guys and the NEA team have been able to accomplish for so many who need it! May the Lord bless you all from the depth of His treasures and love.
Margaret Hart - curling Mom from Pickering says
Amazing work by your incredible group of men and women. Thank you for sharing the blogs which inspire and bring smiles with your wonderful stories. Stay cool in the last few days as you continue to care for so many in need.
Susan Fockler says
Your blogs bring back so many bittersweet memories of the rewards and challenges of serving in the villages of the Mo region. Stay strong my friends! You are bringing health and hope to thousands! And when you feel that you can’t “take the heat” any more, know that you will return to sub-zero weather!
You have served so well! These last days in Carpenter will be amazing! I can just picturing Jesus smiling at you all as you do what he has created you for, love and serve others regardless of the cost to you. You are an amazing team. Love from all of us at home.