Thursday, January 8, 2009

Nita, the Radio Patient

After getting off the radio, I intended to try and call MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship), just to say I tried. Our phone lines here are very unreliable. I often try to make a call and find out that we don't have an outside line, that we haven't paid the bill, or it just doesn't work. So I really didn't expect to get through. Before I could do that, I was needed back in the ER to see 2 patients, and to finish up with 2 I had seen earlier in the day. I stopped briefly to call and ask Brenda, our admin secretary to find me the MAF number. After seeing the patients, I had the number in hand ready to call. As I started to walk to admin to call (we only have a few places on station that can make an outside call, and the OPD area isn't one of them), I realized I didn't know where these people were in the Jimi. The Jimi is the name of the region along the Jimi River, so there are many villages in this region. I needed to know which health care center they were at, so the plane knew where to go. I head back to the business office and ask our clerk there to spell the name for me - Tsangedi. Great.
I head to admin to call, but someone was on the phone, so back to OPD to see more pts. After a few more patients, back to admin. I call, it rings, and rings, and rings - finally I get a person at MAF, Michael. I explain the situation to him and ask if there was anyway of getting a plane there today, it was about 2:00 pm at this point. He tried to connect me with someone else, but no one picked up. So he asked for more details and said he would call back. Call back, that is funny. No one can ever seem to call us here. I didn't even know the number, but got it and relayed it to him. He said if you don't hear back from me in 20 minutes, call me back in case we don't get through (he obviously has tried to get through before). I go back to seeing patients and probably 10 minutes later I hear through the window, Dr. Erin a call.
I leave my patient and head to admin again. This is amazing, not only did I make a call, but they have also been able to call back. Michael tells me they are sending a plane out now to get the patient who will be brought to Hagen, and then transferred to Kudjip. I was amazed, this was going to work. Had I prayed, it would have been an answer to prayer. Instead, I doubted that this would work, but just went through the motions to say I tried. Although I lacked faith in God's ability to get it done, He did it and I was praising God that He could arrange everything and that we might be able to save this lady. I head back to the business office where the "telephone call" came in and asked the clerk to radio them back that the plane is coming today. I head back to OPD to work my way through the line of patients. As I am seeing patients, I think to myself, how is that patient suppose to get here once she lands in Hagen? Do we send an ambulance? Do they get a PMV?
Enter Bill to OPD. In between patients, I share with him an abbreviated version of my afternoon phone call and ask how to transport the patient. (He was also on call and needed to know that this patient was coming.) He says that this is a first and hasn't happened before, but yes, we can send the ambulance. Back to admin to ask our Director of Nursing to ask Papa Yapo, our ambulance driver, to stay in Hagen and pick up that patient from MAF. Then back to OPD.
Later that evening, Nita arrived. Bill, who was on call, saw her, and thankfully, she wasn't actively bleeding, BP 90/50, HR 110. He transfused her a unit of blood, and then proceeded to remove the placenta while the second unit was going. She tolerated the procedure very well. This am I went to meet her and found her sitting up with her husband in our delivery area. She is a very small lady and didn't say hardly anything. I told her I was happy to meet her and thankful that God had helped her and that she was okay now. Her husband just kept smiling. I saw her later in the day and found her getting some more blood, but still doing well.
This story sure increased my faith to what God can do. I truly thought the patient would die yesterday if we weren't able to get her here, and thanks to MAF she got her, and now is doing well. Luke 1:37 reminds us that "For nothing is impossible with God" and He sure proved that yesterday. Today, I went to use the phone, and found that we don't have an outside line, but He provided it yesterday when I needed it.