Sunday, March 7, 2010

Too close

I have never seen a patient die from asthma, but I know it happens. I thought it was going to happen on Friday, but God had other plans. I walked into the ER on Friday to do a bone marrow biopsy and saw a 8 yo girl sitting on one of the exam tables being watched by her mother. I saw that Dr. Susan had already seen her, so I continued with what I was doing. Not 10 minutes later, the mom was calling and asking for help. The girl who had been ok a few minutes ago, was now trying to hit her mom, standing up on the bed, and not listening to anything her mom said. We helped to get her back to the bed and I asked what was going on. She had asthma and was having an exacerbation, a very bad one.
She had been saturating 99% when Dr. Susan first saw her, but now she was in the 60s on O2 after getting a few neb treatments. I quickly gave some orders for other meds to try and help her. She was calmer as her O2 sat came up to 89%, but she was working really really hard to breathe, using every muscle she had to get oxygen into her lungs. Around this time her father came into the ER and started praying. He was on his knees pleading with the Lord for his daughter, for her life, for healing, for death to not come today. It was quite a prayer, he was praying so fervently that people came into the ER just because they heard him and wanted to know what was going on. James 5:16b says, "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." Praise God in this instance it was very effective.
Susan came back to the ER about 30 minutes later and stayed with her for another hour. Lonah was maintaining her sats, but still fighting for her life. She then asked me to continue to watch her for the rest of the
day. We don't have a ventilator here, so our options are somewhat limited. We had given her everything I knew of to give her and although it was working, she still looked like she could die and I was praying right along with her father. After lunch when I checked on her, by God's grace, she was better and had turned that corner from death to life.
Today as I was walking to work, I was thinking of Lonah and praying for her and then I see her and her mom walking on the road going back to the ward. What a great site to see. Her mom, Daisy, is a teacher at the Christian Leaders Training College (CLTC) and has helped out in the field days we have had with the elementary students. I pray that Lonah will be around to participate in many more field days, and that she won't get this close to death again from her asthma.