This is our outpatient waiting area, which is typically fully of patients each Clinic day, but the week of our scale down, this is what we saw, just a handful of patients. We are here to serve the patients who need our help, and so it was quite painful to know that many patients weren't getting the help they needed during our scaling down, but thankfully, the only lasted a short time, and all our services have resumed.
Sunday, August 29, 2021
Max was visiting his friends at their house talking and eating, when they heard something outside. They looked outside and saw that across the river, a house had caught on fire, and they thought they heard some voices from the house. Without stopping to think or process what was happening, they took off running towards the house. As they did, they heard screaming, someone was inside.
When they crossed the river that night, they found 2 houses, both on fire, but someone was inside and was screaming. The tried to go in, but the door was locked. Looking around for something to help them get into the house, they found a log and were able to break down the door. As they opened the door, the smoke and flames rushed out, and they rushed in.
They found an old woman, trapped inside and pulled her out to safety. Knowing they were far from help, they used an old customary medical practice and rubbed honey on her burns, to try and help. Then they picked up the old mama and carried her to the road, hoping that someone would drive by and would help them take her to the hospital.
It was around 9 pm when my phone rang. I was on call with Spencer, one of our new PNG doctors. He told me, a lady had been brought in who was burned pretty bad, and so I made my way to the hospital. When I got there I found 4 guys huddled around a bed, with an old mama on the bed. One of the guys was in the middle of taking off his shirt to put over her as I got closer to her. I asked what happened, and they didn't really know.
They didn't know this woman, didn't know her name, just heard a fire and someone yelling, and they ran to help her, and then were able to find a ride to bring her to the hospital. I was touched by their practice of being Good Samaritans.
The nurse, nursing students, Spencer and I spent quite a bit of time in the Emergency Room with our burn victim, trying to clean her up and wrap up her burns and get her clean and dry for the night, praying she would make it despite her extensive burns. I assumed that Max and his friends would take off while we were cleaning her up, they weren't family, they didn't know who this lady was, but instead as soon as we were done, they wanted to know where we put her and where she was going to stay. They planned to stay with her. They also asked what did they owe for the ER and bed fee for this woman. I was so grateful for their care of this woman, that I was glad I could say nothing.
A lawyer asked Jesus what he needed to do to inherit eternal life, and Jesus responded, asking "What is written in the Law?" The lawyer said, "You shall love the Lord your God will all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself." The lawyer then asked, "Who is my neighbor?", and Jesus shared the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), to demonstrate who our neighbor is.
This is a story that many of us know, and many of us try and be the "Good Samaritan" when given the chance to do so. I was thankful to have met Max and his friends and hope I can be like them when an opportunity comes my way.
Thursday, August 5, 2021
Since last October we have had 4 new physicians join us, 2 PNGians and 2 from World Medical Missions Post Residency Program, and 1 new PNG dental resident.
Laura joined us from the US a month after Daniel, also delayed due to paperwork issues with Covid. She is our first Ob/Gyn doctor who has been with us full time, and we have learned a lot together. Our Ob/Gyn practice is a bit different than her training, so thankfully we have a number of surgeons and OBs here since she arrived, to help guide her through some of what her training didn’t quite prepare her for. The laparoscopic and robotic surgery that she perfected in the US, isn’t quite as helpful here (especially when we don’t have the robot J). We are learning together, how best to utilize her and her skills and where she can be the most help to our patients. Her 2 years with the PostResidency Program will go by quick, but we are hoping she and her husband Taylor stick around too.
Spencer joined us the end of April. He came to us as our first UPNG medical student about 3 years ago and spent 6 weeks with us. While we didn’t have much to compare it to, we felt like he was quite bright, and we kept in touch through his finishing up of his medical training and then into his 2 years required Residency training in POM that he did. When he finished his residency, he wrote and asked if he could come here and work with us, and we were happy to be able to say yes. While it has really only been 3 months, he has already learned so much of what and how we do things here, and is a great help on call. He is still thinking through the next steps in his life, but based on what we have seen, we would be happy to have him continue to work with us.
Pauline grew up on our station. Her mom is a nurse and midwife and her dad worked in our finance department. She finished her dental schooling this April and is now with us for 2 months to complete her dental residency working with Lesther, our dentist. So instead of just having 1 dentist here, we have 1 and 1 trainee, which allows us to do a bit more. It is great having some station folks coming back to do medicine and dentistry and serve the people here.
After having only 3 or 4 regular doctors for most of last year, having 7 doctors, plus an OB/Gyn, and 1 surgeon and 1 surgical trainee, and 1 dentist and 1 dental trainee, working now full time with us, is an amazing blessing.
Thursday, July 15, 2021
Tuesday, June 29, 2021
Some kids were able to find an octopus one day as we were out snorkeling and they were fishing. I kept trying to spot arms or legs when I was out there, but never saw anything that seemed like an octopus, but the kids sure spot them.
The Blue Starfish is definitely my favorite underwater creature in Madang, and we saw a lot of him.
Wednesday, June 23, 2021
I don't always get to go on vacation with others, it can just be hard to coordinate schedules that make it possible to be gone at the same time, so this was fun to do it with a group of us.