Wednesday, February 21, 2018

New Expansion Project

On January 1st our Hospital Expansion Project started, funded by Australian Aid's Incentive Fund.  In the next 3 years, we will have a larger and/or new Emergency Room, Outpatient Department, Surgical Outpatient Department, Operating Theatre, Pharmacy, Lab, Nursery, Delivery Ward, Storeroom, Administration Building, Laundry, Dental Clinic, Incinerator and Morgue.

At the end of this Project, we hope to be able to better care for the patients we are already caring for.  We currently don't have enough doctor exam rooms when we have trainees and volunteers with us, so the expansion will enable us to have room as we look to be more involved in training PNG students and doctors.  Our whole old hospital is full of supplies and medicines in storage, the new Storeroom will allow us finally put all our supplies in one space, so we actually know what we have and what we don't.  Our nursery currently has room for 5 little bassinets, there are times recently where we have had 2 and 3 babies in each bassinet in order to provide a space for everyone who needs it.  The nursery expansion will give us at least 10 bassinets, with the potential to have more, as we need it.  Our Emergency Room only currently has 7 beds in it, and we often have patients waiting outside to be seen or for a dressing change, the expansion will give us more beds so patients aren't waiting for a bed.

Anytime you build something there is going to be dust, dirt and noise and this project will be no different.  Unlike when we built the new hospital, we will still be using the buildings as we are expanding, so our Project guys have their work cut out for them as they work to expand the hospital while making sure we are still able to care for the patients who come.  Thankfully, we have a great group of project guys and so I know they will do their best to keep us up and running as we are building.

Monday, February 12, 2018

A piece of the story

Recently, I discovered a puzzle app, which I have been quite enjoying.  Without having to have all the different puzzles and a table to put them on, I can still do puzzles that take me to different places on my iPad.  As you well know, to complete a puzzle, you need all the pieces, or else the picture is incomplete.  To find the pieces that fit, you might look at the shape or the color of the piece and see where it might go.  In some ways, our lives are like a puzzle, made up of many different pieces, that are interconnected from piece to piece by a person or an event, and together they make up the story of our lives.
As a missionary at a Hospital, I know the pieces of the stories that occur and happen inside the walls of the hospital, but I don’t often know the rest of the pieces that make up the story of the person’s life.  I don’t know all the events that led them to come to the hospital, or the pieces that happen when they go home.  I have a pretty good idea of the pieces that happen in the hospital, but I know that is only a part of it. 
I know that some of the patients who come to us, go home physically healed and others don’t.  I know some go home wounded, both physically and emotionally because of the trauma that occurred bringing them to us.  I know some don’t want to go home due to being afraid and try and find another place to go to.  
I know that our doctors, chaplains, nurses, cleaners, nursing students and more are impacting patient’s lives as they care for them as Jesus would.  Some of them we know come to know Jesus as their Savior in the hospital, and some come to know Him after they leave and go home.  Some of them had their faith strengthened and then they go home and start a church, or become a pastor or an elder in their church, others go home and pray for their husbands, kids, neighbors and down the road see their lives changed. 

I often get to be one little piece of the puzzle through my interactions with the patient and family in the Emergency Room or Clinic Room or on the Ward, but what happens as a result of that piece – I don’t know.  Today on call, I got to be a piece of the story for 4 different men who were all chopped in their heads by different men, some enemies, some brothers, and some strangers.  Thankfully, all are alive now, but what will the next piece of the story be?  Will they go out and seek to harm the one who hurt them, or will they be changed because of the hospital?  I got to pray with a family today whose son seems to have a big brain tumor that is robbing this 5 yo of his life.  While I think I know some of the next pieces of this story, I don’t know how they will cope when their son is gone?  Will they continue to trust in God, or be discouraged?  I took care of a women who miscarried her 5th and 6th babies this week.  She already is a mother of 3 boys and a girl, but was looking forward to the new life that was growing inside of her.  When she started bleeding on Tues, she came to us for help, and when I scanned her I found that she still had a live baby growing inside, despite already losing one.  She was very happy that life was still growing and we prayed that it might continue to grow, despite it’s brother having already been born.  3 days later she came back and was having contractions, the 6th baby was soon on it’s way.  The mom seemed okay, but was definitely saddened by the loss.  She thanked me for my care of her, and I prayed that God would strengthen her as she returned home to her 4 kids, but not to her 5th and 6th. 

Sometimes the other pieces of the puzzle are filled in by someone else, a neighbor, a family member, a pastor or anyone that they meet.  Just this week, I got to talk to a New Tribes Missionary who lives about 20 minutes from us in a village with her family.  When I asked how things were going, she shared story after story of men and women whose lives were altered/saved/spared through the Hospital and who now are walking with the Lord and the growth that they are seeing.  She told of a woman who fell on a coffee stick years ago and almost died, but we were able to do surgery and she went home and started praying for her family, and now 8 years later, her son just committed his life to the Lord’s.  Another man had been a trouble maker in their village, but through recent events heard about Jesus and had his life changed and is now wanting to learn how to teach in their church.  The stories were encouraging to me, enabling me to see a few extra pieces of the puzzle that I don’t often get to see.

Recently, MAF has flown in a few trauma victims from remote areas of PNG – a boy who broke his leg in a landslide and another woman who fell off a cliff and sustained a head injury.  Both will go home because of the pieces that MAF and Kudjip played. This reminded me that while I will never know the impact of the piece I get to play today or tomorrow, the important thing is that I play a piece, and use the time I have to continue to share and show His love to those who come.  

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Bush Stretcher

Walking through the ER at the end of the day, I found this kid laying on the middle bed in a stretcher.  We see lots of folks come in on homemade stretchers, but this one was the best stretcher I have ever seen.  Usually they are made from bamboo poles with a market bag or other sack tied between as what holds the patient.  This one had bush rope tied around the handles enabling the boy to be carried in different positions for those carrying him - I am always impressed with their creativity and ingenuity. 

After my amazement at the stretcher wore off, I started to ask what happened.  They were from Tsandiap – far away in the Jimi Valley, they said that there was a landslide that happened a few days previously and they had to carry him out.  One person in the group told me they carried him for 1 day to get to the airstrip to get the plane and someone else in the group said 2 hours.  Either way, he was carried for quite a ways before he got to the airstrip.  Rode on a MAF plane and then made his way to us for care. 

Thankfully it was only his leg that was broken, but it was broken pretty well.  It took us a couple of times and a lot of strong guys pulling to straighten it out again.   Thanks to MAF’s ability to fly him out of a remote area and our Hospital being open with Doctors and Staff willing and wanting to serve those who come, we were able to help him and he should be heading home or at least out of the hospital this week.