Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Miracles and more

It is a privilege to care for patients each day at the hospital. As a doctor, my job is try and determine what they have and to care for them the best I can with what is available. At times, this is difficult due to limited resources, an unknown diagnosis, or pts coming in very late with their illness. It is these difficult patients, in particular, which clearly show me God's healing touch. The healing is His and His alone, sure we treat, but He heals. He heals us all from disease, sickness, and sin through the blood of Jesus. As we remember the gift that God gave us this Christmas season, I wanted to share with you some of the gifts God has recently given the patients and I.
Paul, 30, came in with multisystem organ failure and despite 4 antibiotics was very, very sick. At one point, we got a CXR that shouldn't be compatible with life here at Kudjip (due to not having a ventilator or other ways of supporting his pulmonary function.) By God's grace, he is alive and walking today. He knows the Savior and is able to praise Him this Christmas season for the life he lives and the life of Christ.
Tongamb, 7, came to us with abd pain and was found to have a very large liver abscess. He had become septic and we weren't sure he was going to survive another day without surgery. During surgery, his oxygen saturation was in the 60s the majority of the case (20-30 min). I was concerned that he was going to be brain damaged secondary to the hypoxia. Thankfully, God protected him from brain injury and used the surgery to start his healing process. I saw him today in f/u 1 week out of the hospital and he looked great - smiling, laughing, walking, and all without pain. God also used this time to bring his family closer to himself, as the chaplains got to spend time with his parents sharing with them about our Savior.
Jesmeal, 5, such a cute kid with a cute laugh. He came about 2 months ago unable to turn his neck from one side to the other, he just moved his whole upper body. His neck xray revealed some changes in his cervical spine and we were concerned about TB. He and his family moved into our TB ward so he could get his 2 months of injections of one of the TB meds. During this time, he improved, he was turning his head from side to side in 1-2 weeks. I would go to see him and he would be running around the TB ward, laughing, sweeping the floor, always very active. He would always smile and answer my questions. He even taught me a tok ples word for no - mon (not sure the spelling). Last week I went to see him to send him home, but instead of my cute energetic Jesmeal, he was laying on his bed, sleeping. I tried to wake him, but when he opened his eyes I saw they were going from side to side (nystagmus - not good). He smiled and laughed, like he always did, then went back to sleep. His family reported that he wasn't able to sit anymore, was vomiting, and wasn't moving his R side. I rewoke him up and couldn't get him to move his R arm or leg, his L side he would move, but when he tried his R he would say "nogat" (so cute). Concerned about some sort of worsening CNS disease, he went back to A ward (peds) so I can watch him closer. Unfortunately, it looks like he has some sort of CNS tumor which has caused his symptoms, and there isn't anything here to cure him. I am praying that God would continue to strengthen him and his parents, and if He chooses would do a miracle in his life and allow Jesmeal to walk home this Christmas season.
Zacii, 9 months, always smiling despite being significantly burned on his face, ear, L arm. He had been with us more than a month while he was getting skin grafts. He never cried, always just smiled and was content. He is from the Jimi (far away), so he stayed with some relatives for a week and when he came back, his head was all crusted and infected. Although his mom didn't want to stay again, she knew it was the best, so we got to see his smiling face for another week. I discharged him to home (the Jimi) this week so he could be home for Christmas. Home for Christmas - it isn't always the place of "home", but the people, the love, and the hope of a "home" that we have in heaven because of the birth of Christ.
Ambike,10, lived at the hospital for a number of months back in July, August, September, and October. She was always smiling unless you were changing bandages, making her move her leg, or putting needles in her. She had sepsis, osteomyelitis, and tuberculosis. She went home one weekend only to fall and break her femoral neck due to the osteo. She then lived on D ward in traction for a long time. Today she came back to outpatient in followup. She was all smiles and using her crutches well. Previously she had a total disarticulation of her femoral head and femur, but now God has grown them back. It is amazing to think of how God created our bodies so that we are able to recover, regrow, and regain strength that was lost. He supplies us with the strength we need, not just physically, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually too.
William, 8, never smiling in a picture, but it brings a smile to my face just to see him alive and well. He has pus in his pericardial sac that was drained and he improved and went home. 2 wks later he came with some worsening symptoms, but after draining the pus and blood again, he is better. He continues to have some pus around his heart, but improves daily, and at times even smiles. He recently has bled from the site where we aspirated the pus. He has bled so much that his clothes and sheets were soaked with blood. Just yesterday I was there when he started bleeding again and I saw the blood pour over everything in it's path, covering it. This is exactly what Christ's blood does for you and me, it covers our sins so they are not seen by God. We are counted as righteous, not because of us, but because of Him.
Praying that this Christmas, you take the time to worship our Savior, and take the time to thank God for the work that He did which started in the manger and ended on the cross and with an empty tomb. Merry Christmas.