Remember when you were younger and nothing scared you? Remember when you would run and jump and climb trees, logs, swingsets and think nothing of it? Did you ever fall and get hurt? For most of us, if we did fall and get hurt, we probably cried a bit and quickly got back up and in no time were running, climbing and jumping again, but sometimes those falls turn out bad, and we get injured to the point where we can't get up and run and play again. That is what happened to both Kaipa and Junior.
Kaipa is a 5 yo boy who, while playing, fell and broke his femur (the thigh bone). Junior, a 3yo, did the same thing not 1 week later. In the US, breaking your leg would likely mean surgery, a cast, crutches and home in 1-2 days. In PNG, breaking your femur means you get to be in skin traction, in the hospital for 4-6 weeks.
Imagine being 3 or 5 yo and being literally, pinned down to the bed. You can lay down or sit up, but that is all. You can't roll on your stomach, you can't stand, you can't go outside to use the bathroom, you can't go outside and play, you can't run, jump or climb anything, you are just bed bound. For Kaipa and Junior, this was their life for the past 5 weeks. They were attached to the bed and didn't leave. They usually had smiles on their faces when I would see them each morning, as after 1-3 days the pain they felt from the broken bone was gone with the medicines. They spent their days singing songs, coloring, playing with cars, and I think driving their moms and grandmas crazy.
If you can imagine how hard it must be for a kid to be bed bound, imagine what the moms through during that same period. We are on an open ward, so Kaipa and Junior are 2 of 16 kids on my half of pediatric ward. There are no doors, no curtains, nothing separating them from the other sick kids. If they yell and scream because they want to get up or are bored, everyone hears it. Their moms and grandmas worked hard to help them pass the time. They would often be all smiles for me, but shortly before I would often hear whining, and knew that their moms had their hands full. Thankfully, this week both boys were able to get out of their traction and start to walk again with the help of crutches and walkers. It should be about 2-4 more weeks before they are climbing trees again, but I am not sure how well their moms will be able to control that once they leave the hospital. Keep praying for their full recoveries and for their moms and grandmas to continue to show patience to them as they recover.