Today is my last full day in Saboba. Early tomorrow morning, Dr. Jean, Bob, Moussa (sp?) and myself will load our things in the car and drive to Tamale. Tamale is about 2 1/2–3hrs southwest of Saboba. Dr. Jean has a conference there all week and I will be doing various things. Tomorrow I just have to confirm my flight, exchange some money and get everything in place for my trip back to the states later this week. On Tuesday I am going to be following Dr. David Abdulai, a friend of Dr. Jean’s who is a Ghanaian doctor who runs two free clinics for the poorest of the poor in Tamale. I’m really excited to see the work that he does!
On Wednesday I plan on getting the rest of my last minute thing and souvenir shopping done. Then EARLY Thursday morning Bob will take me to the Tamale airport and if all goes as planned (which it often doesn’t) my flight will leave Tamale for Accra at approximately 7:30am….of course, Clint’s flight was at the same time and he didn’t leave Tamale until the late afternoon. We’ll just see what happens. This is why I’m flying out of Tamale a full day and a half before my international flight leaves so if something gets delayed I shouldn’t miss my flight home. I’ll spend the night and the first half of Friday in Accra and then on Friday night I’ll fly from Accra to Frankfurt, Frankfurt to Chicago, and Chicago to St. Louis!
It has been a busy last few days here in Saboba. I’ll try to update on the highlights.
1) Malnourished Baby–the child is a little better but not much has changed. There have been some minor setbacks. Two days ago the baby was even more dehydrated than the day before and we had to remind the grandmother, father and nursing staff just how much this child should be getting each day. Also, some tape had been stuck on the baby..this is a problem with a malnourished, dehydrated child because when we took the tape off, a lot of her skin came off with it so now she has open sores as well that she has to deal with. I know I won’t see the outcome of this child before I leave but I’m going to continue to pray that she does well and grows stronger each day!
2) The good thing among all of this is there have been several children who have gotten much better! It is so encouraging to see when children who came in so sick and dehydrated leave the hospital a few days to a week or so later and are doing much better!
3)There was a woman who came in earlier in the week with a complaint of vaginal bleeding. She was in her early fifties and apparently had been bleeding for about 7 months. When we checked her hemoglobin it was only 5.2!! She got 3 blood transfusions and we decided it was time for her to have a hysterectomy. Unfortunately, what was found on surgery was advanced cervical cancer that had eroded through the bottom of her uterus and into the wall as well. Dr. Jean took out as much tumor as she could but without chemotherapy or any way to follow the progression of this cancer, I can only pray she gets better. During the surgery the cord that connected to the piece that grounds the electrocautery unit broke off. The bovie (electrocautery) would have to be used a lot during this surgery! They were trying to find the man who could fix this while Dr. Jean went on with the surgery. Since I wasn’t scrubbed, I looked at the wires, stripped part of the wire to the electrocautery unit, tied the ends of the wires together, and taped it back up. It worked!! Thanks dad for letting me watch you do all the electrical stuff when I was growing up! Who knew I’d have to be a makeshift electrician halfway across the world a decade later??
I said a lot of my goodbyes to the hospital leaders yesterday and then this morning went to Pastor Jonah’s church again. It was really encouraging to be there. They prayed for safe travel for me and blessings as I go home. It is so encouraging to see their faith in the middle of all that they face daily. Tonight I’ll go to the council of pastor’s meeting and say my goodbyes to all of them.
Well, that’s all the updates that I can think of for now! I’ll try to write more this week if I get a chance, but I don’t know if I’ll have an internet connection in Tamale or not. I hope you all are doing well, and thank you so much for the support, prayers, encouragement, and notes you’ve sent since I’ve been here! I really do appreciate it!