Saturday, October 21, 2017

Faces of Surgical Ward

Here are a few of the faces and stories of patients on surgical ward:

Rose, age 7, presented with intermittent bouts of screaming pain and a tender mass in her abdomen. Surgery revealed that her intestine had telescoped inside itself; a condition we call intussusception. After a successful surgical reduction, she is now making a full recovery. Please pray for her as she heads home.

Justin, age 16, came to the hospital in excruciating abdominal pain after a pig meal. In the highlands of PNG, there is a severe infection of the intestine called pigbel that can follow pig feasts. However, at surgery we found an all too familiar culprit: ruptured appendicitis. Previously rarely seen in the developing world, appendicitis is now becoming more common as the western diet becomes more prevalent. For the first several days after surgery, Justin lay still as a board, hardly moving, his face in a perpetual grimace. The day I saw him sitting up with this smile, I knew he had turned the corner to recovery. Please keep him and his family in your prayers.

Paru is a young man in his twenties. While chopping down a tree, the tree trunk fell on him and broke his back. He is now paralyzed from the waist down. Permanent disabilities are very difficult to manage in a place where most people walk a dirt mountain path to get to their homes, where gardening is the main source of income, and where very few services exist. Thankfully, he was able to get a wheelchair sized for him at the local catholic health center. Please pray for him and his family during this very difficult lifestyle transition. Pray that they might find hope and strength in God in this time of struggle and doubt.

Jack is a walking miracle. During a tribal dispute, he stepped up to protect a female relative from a bush knife attack and was nearly decapitated. With God’s help, Dr. Jim (veteran surgeon), Dr. Rebecca (rural registrar trainee) and Dr. Erin (medial doctor) did an amazing job resuscitating and repairing the injuries to Jack’s neck. “I was staring at his spine,” Jim later recalled. By God’s grace, Jack survived and his family continues to praise God for this miracle. Please pray for Jack as he continues to recover and for his family as they try to resolve the on-going tribal conflict.

      I wish I could share the stories of each of the 28 patients currently admitted to the surgical ward with abdominal illnesses, fractured bones, bone infections, healing wounds, etc. Please continue to pray for our patients’ physical healing and spiritual restoration as they hear the word of God daily on the wards. Thank you for your faithful prayers.

Jack and family with Dr. Jim

(All names and pictures shared with permission)

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